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Wednesday 16th April 2014,
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Ibaka’s block pushes OKC to 12-0 at home

Jacob watkins December 15, 2013 1 Comment
Russell Westbrook magic

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City did something they normally don’t do tonight, which is play bad in the fourth quarter. The Thunder had a 16-point lead with seven minutes remaining in the game before Orlando went on a run and made things interesting down the stretch. Oklahoma City was able to pull out the win though late in the game thanks to good on ball defense from Thabo Sefolosha and a block from Serge Ibaka. Oklahoma City held on for a 101-98 victory.

The Thunder (19-4) were in control most of the game due to great on ball defense, which led to turnovers and fast break points for Russell Westbrook and Jeremy Lamb early on in the game. The Thunder were able move the ball around well all night, with a total of 23 assists, which led to four players scoring in double figures.

Early on the game Kevin Durant didn’t have his typical shooting game but turned it on in the second quarter and eventually finished the game with 28 points and one rebound. Westbrook was able to pick up Durant’s slack early in the game with 12 points in the first quarter.

The Magic (7-17) hung in the game through the first quarter but the Thunder began to pull away whenever Durant went off for 11 points in the second quarter. For the Thunder though the spark came from Jeremy Lamb off the bench, who scored 12 points in 12 minutes in the first half. Lamb led the OKC bench, which chipped in 39 points on the night, with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field.

If there was any weak spot tonight, it came from the Thunder’s big men, especially Serge Ibaka. Ibaka, who has been shooting very well of late, was never able to get into a rhythm offensively after getting into foul trouble early on in the game.

The Magic at the end of the game were able to make the game interesting though, forcing a few key turnovers in the last few minutes of the game that led to easy layups for Orlando. In the end, the Thunder were able to make enough free throws and play good defense to stop the Magic from tying up the game on the last possession.

Keys to the Game

Score Points: B+
Any time you can score over 100 points in a game you will take it but for OKC you would expect them to put up more points, especially against a team that is 24th in the NBA in points allowed per game. Durant, Westbrook, Lamb and Jackson all had good games offensively but the Thunder’s offense wasn’t exactly the same with Ibaka only putting up four points tonight

Thunder Money Balls!: C
Oklahoma City only shot 26% from the three point line tonight, which is a relativity low number. Westbrook, Sefolosha and Jackson all attempted three point shots tonight but were unable to convert on any of them. On the bright side, Durant and Lamb together went 4-6 from the three point line.

Limit Afflalo: C
Afflalo is by no means a superstar but he is one of of the best scorers the Magic have and the Thunder allowed him to go off for 25 points tonight, on 9-of-20 shooting from the field. For most of the game Oklahoma City did a good job slowing him down but down the stretch Afflalo was able to get hot and lead a comeback that made the game close.

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