Durant, Westbrook lead Thunder past Magic, 117-104

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 15, 2013 at 11:05 pm •  Published: March 15, 2013
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With his team struggling to find the 20-win mark, the Magic's first-year coach acknowledged Orlando (18-48) was playing more for pride than a chance at the playoffs.

The second-half rally where Orlando outscored Oklahoma City 48-44 was a start. The Magic began cutting into the lead, outscoring the Thunder 28-22 in the third.

"We just didn't play with the focus we needed," Brooks said. "We missed too many free throws, layups and missed opportunities. Those are things we have to get better at."

Durant said the Thunder, who improved to 49-17, forgot what made them so successful in the first half.

"Guys weren't worried about shooting the ball (in the first half)," Durant said. "We were worrying about passing and finding the open shot. The second half the ball got sticky. We've got to stay disciplined throughout the whole game."

Instead of watching the game from the bench, starters Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins were forced to re-enter with 6:49 remaining followed by Durant, Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka soon after.

Harris continued to be a bright spot for the Magic since being acquired from Milwaukee. He scored 19 points in 40 minutes while largely guarding either Westbrook or Durant.

All five Orlando starters finished the game in double figures. Nikola Vucevic scored 21 points, Arron Afflalo had 10 and Maurice Harkless 12.

Ibaka scored 20 and Kevin Martin added 15 off the bench for the Thunder, who have won two in a row and 10 of their last 13.

NOTES: Oklahoma City F Hasheem Thabeet did not play due to a sore back. Rookie Perry Jones was the beneficiary of the available minutes, scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds in 11:14 of work. ... Oklahoma had seven more turnovers than the Magic and half as many steals (6). ... Each team had 56 points in the paint. ... Harris scored in double figures in five of his 28 games with the Bucks. Since arriving in Orlando, he's scored double digits in nine of 11 games.