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Thunder runs into a big roadblock against Magic

BY MIKE BALDWIN Modified: November 19, 2009 at 10:33 am •  Published: November 19, 2009
ORLANDO — If you told coach Scott Brooks before the season that the Thunder would go 3-3 over a six-game, nine-day, road-heavy gauntlet, he probably would have been happy.

The only problem is the finale — 108-94 loss to the Magic on Wednesday — was the Thunder’s worst performance all season. And it came at the end of a grueling stretch of games.

Playing role reversal, the Magic on Wednesday night at Amway Arena, looked a lot like the Thunder did 10 days ago in the Ford Center.

The score was so lopsided that neither coach played their starters in the fourth quarter in what turned into a glorified preseason game. Fresh off Tuesday night’s big win in Miami, the Thunder was manhandled from the start.

"I don’t want to blame it on (playing back-to-back games)” said Thunder star Kevin Durant, who scored a season-low 12 points. "They came out with a lot of energy, and we didn’t. They executed and capitalized on that. You have to tip your hat off to a great team. You can’t guard them. It was a tough game for us.”

The Thunder was playing its third back-to-back in a nine-day span. It started with a West Coast trip to Sacramento and Los Angeles followed by a Southwest back-to-backer in San Antonio/Oklahoma City. The back-to-back theme concluded with a double-dip in Florida.

"That’s not an excuse,” Brooks said. "We just didn’t play well. Bottom line is they outplayed us. They’re a very talented team. They were making their shots. We were a step slow. The ball was a little sticky tonight.”

It’s unusual how the Thunder is 3-3 on its See America trip that still isn’t quite finished.

Oklahoma City lost to Sacramento but beat the L.A. Clippers on the West Coast.

The Thunder stunned the Spurs in San Antonio but lost the rematch to the Clippers, the only home game of the six.

On Tuesday, the Thunder dominated Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat — but 24 hours later was never in the game against the Magic.

"One thing we need to work on is being consistent,” Brooks said. Box score: Orlando 108, Oklahoma City 94


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