Tue, 22 Sep 2020

Magic return home to face resilient Thunder

Field Level Media
22 Jan 2020, 05:55 GMT+10

Heading into Wednesday's meeting in Orlando, both the Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder are coming off perhaps their most impressive victories of the season.

The Thunder rallied from a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit to win at Houston, while the Magic turned a sluggish start into a blowout victoryat Charlotte to wrap up their longest road trip of the season.

Oklahoma City has made a habit of coming back from big deficits this season.

The Thunder trailed Monday's game by 17 at one point, making the win against the Rockets the fourth time this season they have won despite trailing by 17 or more points at any point.

"We showed it to everybody, to ourselves first, since the beginning of the season," forward Danilo Gallinari said of Oklahoma City's propensity for comebacks. "That's what we do."

In Orlando's 106-83 win over the Hornets on Monday, Terrence Ross hit five first-half 3-pointers to spur the victory after the Magic managed just 19 first-quarter points.

"That was one of our best wins because of our approach," Magic coach Steve Clifford said. "I thought our attitude was great and it set the whole thing up."

Ross has hit multiple 3-pointers in four consecutive games, averaging 15 points per game during that stretch.

"When he gets going, he doesn't need much room," Clifford said. "When he gets that look in his eye ... let's hope he has it again on Wednesday."

The Magic haven't played at home since Jan. 8.

Orlando was 3-3 on the road trip that included both a win over the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers and a loss at cellar-dwelling Golden State.

"Now that you look back at this road trip, it's not bad. ... We could have had a great trip, but 3-3, we'll take it," guard Evan Fournier told the Orlando Sentinel. "It was really just being mentally prepared and just do your job."

The Thunder have been limited on the interior recently and could be short-handed there yet again.

Starting center Steven Adams was knocked out of Monday's win over Houston less than two minutes into the game when he sprained his left ankle getting tied up under the basket with Rockets center Clint Capela.

Oklahoma City was also without Adams' backup, Nerlens Noel, for the seventh time in nine games due to left ankle soreness of his own. Starting forward Terrance Ferguson was out for personal reasons.

Orlando's injuries are much more long-term.

Forwards Jonathan Isaac and Al-Farouq Aminu could miss the rest of the season and point guard D.J. Augustin has missed the last four games and might be sidelined until mid-February. All are dealing with knee injuries.

The game is the second and final meeting of the season between the teams.

Oklahoma City won the first meeting, 102-94, at home on Nov. 5 in a game where Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander combined for 44 points.

--Field Level Media

More Charlotte News

Access More

Sign up for Charlotte News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!