NBA Game Summary - Oklahoma City at Orlando
(Friday, December 5th)
Final Score: Orlando 98, Oklahoma City 89
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard posted 21 points and 23 rebounds to go along with six blocks as the Orlando Magic notched a 98-89 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Magic have won six of their last seven and four in a row at home, carrying a 9-3 mark at Amway Arena where Howard had logged a double-double by the end of the first quarter on Friday.
Orlando also wrapped up a short two-game homestand with the win, having opened the residency with a victory over the Timberwolves on Wednesday. Howard finished that contest with 23 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks.
Friday wasn't the first time Howard tormented the Thunder this season, as the big man posted his first career triple-double with 30 points, 19 rebounds and a career-high 10 blocks in a 109-92 win on November 12.
"We turned it up a little bit in the fourth but we want to be a championship caliber team -- we can't have nights like this," Howard said of not punishing a Thunder team with only two wins on the season. "We came out pretty good but we kind o laid back and we got comfortable."
Magic guards Jameer Nelson and Keith Bogans returned to the lineup after missing time with hip and thumb injuries, respectively. Nelson contributed 15 points and seven assists and Bogans chipped in nine points from the bench.
The Magic, who got 30 points from their bench, kick off a five-game road trip Monday against the Clippers. Hedo Turkoglu had 13 points and seven assists in the win.
Russell Westbrook led the way with 19 points and nine boards for the Thunder, who are 2-18 this season and lost their second straight since posting that second win, against Memphis on November 29.
Oklahoma City is now 1-9 away from home this season and 1-2 on its four-game road trip, which is scheduled to wrap up Saturday with a visit to the Miami Heat.
Kevin Durant logged 16 points and 10 rebounds while Johan Petro chipped in 15 points off the bench.
"We're making progress -- three or four weeks ago they kicked us pretty bad," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. "We came out and competed but they got hot. Bottom line; that's a good shooting team that plays extremely well at home."
The Thunder stayed close in the third quarter, and a pair of Durant free throws cut the team's deficit to 56-55, with a little under six minutes left in the frame. A pair of dunks from Petro in the final minute cut the Magic's lead to 70-66 after three quarters.
Oklahoma City stayed within striking distance, as Petro's jumper kept it a four-point game with 7 1/2 minutes left to play. But the Magic immediately began to pull away from there.
Bogans drained a three and Nelson hit a pair of jumpers before a Howard dunk pushed the Orlando lead to 90-79. Chris Wilcox then registered a layup for the Thunder, but Rashard Lewis answered with a three to make it a 12-point game with about four minutes left, and Orlando was in control the rest of the way.
Orlando held a slim 23-18 lead after one quarter and extended that lead to 45-39 at the half.
Orlando has won seven straight after losing the last two meetings with Seattle/Oklahoma City...The Sonics/Thunder have lost five straight and six of seven games as the visitor in this series...Orlando's Tony Battie participated in his 700th career game and had eight points with six rebounds off the bench...Lewis finished with 11 points...Wilcox posted 11 points for Oklahoma City, as did Earl Watson...It was the first time in Howard's career he had posted a double-double in the first quarter.
12/05 23:56:26 ET