Thunder rally to take down OrlandoMar 2, 2012 - 6:58 AM Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant netted 18 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter as the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from a double-digit deficit to down the Orlando Magic, 105-102, at Amway Center.
Russell Westbrook added 29 points and 10 assists for the Thunder, who earned the franchise's first win in Orlando since March 13, 2004.
The Thunder had dropped their previous seven games in central Florida, four as the SuperSonics and three since the team moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. The Thunder have now won a game in every NBA city.
Dwight Howard had 33 points and nine rebounds, while Jameer Nelson recorded 15 points and nine assists for the Magic, who lost for the second time in three games.
"You want to be rolling toward the end of the season and going into the playoffs," said Howard. "We're in a good position right now... We haven't been playing our best, but we're right there."
Oklahoma City trailed, 81-70, entering the fourth quarter and after trading buckets over the opening minute, a pair of James Harden free throws sparked a 12-4 run by the Thunder to close the gap to three, 87-84, just past the midpoint of the frame.
A monstrous dunk by Howard put an end to the spurt and marked the Magic's first basket in almost four minutes, but then Durant took over, scoring 14 points over the game's final five minutes.
Durant made four free throws around a Harden layup and a pair of missed jumpers by Howard to give the Thunder a 90-89 advantage with 3:56 remaining in the game for their first lead since early in the first quarter.
After Ryan Anderson missed a three-pointer on the other end, Durant sank a trey to extend the lead to 93-89.
The Magic stayed within two possessions over the next three minutes until Durant sank a long two-pointer as the shot clock expired and sank a pair of foul shots after a missed Jason Richardson trey to put the Thunder ahead, 103-96, with 16.2 seconds to play. They hung on for the win from there.
"All we focused on was trying to make up a point a minute and our guys did that," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "We fight every game, every possession. That's one of our strengths: we never give up."
A brief 6-2 spurt by the Thunder gave them an 18-13 advantage with 4:23 remaining in the first quarter for the largest lead by either team in a back- and-forth opening period.
But Orlando recorded 10 of the quarter's last 12 points and held a 23-20 lead entering the second quarter.
A Royal Ivey three-pointer followed by a Nick Collison layup knotted the game at 25 a little over a minute into the second, but back-to-back treys by Anderson sparked a 10-2 run by the Magic to jump out to a 35-27 lead.
Reggie Jackson's three-pointer stopped the spurt and Oklahoma City stayed within striking distance until a personal 5-0 run by Westbrook brought the Thunder within three, 50-47, with 1:34 left in the half and Oklahoma City trailed, 53-50, at the break.
Orlando then dominated the third quarter, opening the frame on a 10-2 spurt to extend its lead to double digits, 63-52.
Durant put an end to the run with an alley-oop dunk set up by Westbrook, but the Magic had an answer for every Thunder basket and Howard netted six points in an 8-2 swing by Orlando to run out to its largest lead of the game, 76-62, with 3:27 left in the third.
The Magic held an 81-70 advantage at the end of the third behind 16 points and five rebounds by Howard in the frame.
The Magic fell to 16-2 on the year when they score over 100 points in a game...Harden finished with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists off the bench for Oklahoma City...Richardson had 16 points and Anderson netted 15 in a losing effort for Orlando.
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 105
Mar 1 10:43 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 50
Mar 1 9:13 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 20
End of 1st
Mar 1 8:41 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 1 8:18 PM
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