In one of their better offensive games of the season, the Orlando Magic still came up short in the end against Western Conference favorite Oklahoma City. The Thunder erased an 11-point Magic at the start of the quarter and then went on a tear over the final three minutes to clinch the 105-102 win. MVP candidate Kevin Durant led the attack, personally matching the entire Magic team in the final quarter with 18 points. Durant finished with 38 points to lead the the Thunder to their seventh straight win and best record in the NBA.
After a relatively quiet first half, Dwight Howard dominated the third quarter and scored 12 points with an array of dunks in the paint to help build that 11-point Magic lead heading into the final 12 minutes. Howard finished with 33 points. All five starters scored in double figures but the Magic shot just 36 percent from three-point range after a hot-shooting first half. It was OKC's shooting down the stretch that did them in, as Durant got some help with a banked three-pointer that sealed it. The Magic had a chance to tie but Jason Richardson's last second heave was off-the-mark.
Orlando will now host the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday looking to get back on track.
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