Oklahoma City Thunder (28-7, 13-6 road) at Orlando Magic (23-13, 12-6 home)
Where: Amway Center – Orlando, FL
When: 6:00 p.m.
TV: TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the Enemy: Here.
Last time: Oklahoma City popped the Magic 97-89 on Christmas Day.
Well, I guess you can say Oklahoma City has lapped the field. They’re turning around and playing the team they played on opening night, the Orlando Magic. Oklahoma City didn’t really struggle in that game, they were up by as much as 20 as the Magic made a run late, but wasn’t enough to even scare the starters back in the game.
The Magic struggled early on, but have really picked it up lately. They’re 7-3 in their last 10 games, that includes a 102-95 win over the Washington Wizards last night. Dwight Howard and company seemed to be shouldering the massive load that the media attention has brought to Orlando with all the Howard trade talk.
Oklahoma City is coming off a gritty road win over the Atlantic Division leading Philadelphia 76ers, 92-88. OKC trailed by 7 points late in the fourth quarter, but stopped Philadelphia on 12 of their final 13 shots to win the ball game.
Looks like only Thabo Sefolosha is the only injury for the Thunder. Well, of course Eric Maynor, but we don’t expect him at all this season.
Keys to the game
OKC accounted for 17 turnovers last night. Orlando likes to get out and shoot the three. Letting JJ Reddick and Ryan Anderson hitting the three-ball in transition could be deadly for the Magic. Oklahoma City needs to limit turnovers.
In their win on Christmas Day, OKC had over 20 assists and really just put it to the Magic. Last night, they had just 12 and had a hard fought victory. I won’t say it’s a coincidence but…
Harden isn’t really known for his road game. However, he was very instrumental in the win over the Sixers. Harden really has up and down against the Magic up for his career. In five career games against the Magic, Harden is averaging 27 minutes, 13.8 ppg, 3 assists per game, 3.2 rebounds per game. He’s also shooting just 42.9% from the floor, including 48% from three-point range. I think he’ll be key whether OKC wins or lose.