Grades: Oklahoma City Thunder 101, Orlando Magic 98 | Magic Basketball

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Dec 15

Grades: Oklahoma City Thunder 101, Orlando Magic 98

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 11.22.00 AM

Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Oklahoma City Thunder 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
6-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 16 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -2

It was a relatively quiet night for Vucevic. He made the most noise in the first quarter — flirting with a double-double (eight points and eight rebounds) — before discreetly going about his business the remainder of the game. In fact, Vucevic may have been too discrete. It never felt like he made any tangible impact when he was on the floor.

Victor Oladipo
5-12 FG | 5-8 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +3

Russell Westbrook is seen by many as the best-case scenario for Oladipo. Westbrook was a shooting guard in college with explosive athleticism that successfully converted to the point guard position in the NBA. The Magic hope Oladipo can do the same. The flashes are there. Against the Thunder, Oladipo made several nice pocket passes to his teammates that led to made baskets.

Arron Afflalo
9-20 FG | 2-7 3P | 4 REB | 2 AST | 25 PTS | +2

As the fourth quarter got underway, it seemed like Afflalo was well on his way to another substandard performance offensively. He had as many points as shots (16). Then midway through the period, Afflalo started to catch fire. He scored nine points (3-for-4 shooting) and helped the Magic nearly steal a win on the road against an undefeated Oklahoma City team at home.

Jameer Nelson
4-11 FG | 4-7 3P | 1 REB | 8 AST | 13 PTS | +2

All of Nelson’s made field goals were 3-pointers. He tried to score at the rim, but the Thunder did a good job of contesting his shots. The one possession that stands out the most occurred in the fourth quarter when Nelson drove to the basket and Kevin Durant came from the weak-side to swat his shot into the stands. That’s the type of interior defense Nelson was dealing with.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Durant and Westbrook stuffed the stat sheet, but that’s to be expected. The Oklahoma City players that truly impressed were Jeremy Lamb (16 points) and Reggie Jackson (10 points). Lamb, with his silky smooth jumper, and Jackson, with his aggressive forays at the rim, provided a spark off the bench. For those that have followed the Thunder closely this season, this is nothing new.

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