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Game Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Orlando Magic

2013 March 22

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After losing to the New York Knicks Wednesday night, the Orlando Magic will return home to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday night. It was the Magic’s fifth straight loss. The Thunder have lost their last two games, including a heartbreaking loss on a Marc Gasol tip-in at the buzzer to the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday

The Magic enter with a record of 18-51 while the Thunder are 50-19.

These two teams squared off exactly one week ago. The Thunder got out to a big lead but needed 69 combined points from Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook to hold off a late Magic rally, winning 117-104. Orlando got just six points from their bench, but their starters combined to score 98 points in the loss.

The Magic rank 25th in offensive rating (99.4), 26th in defensive rating (106.8) and play at the league’s 15th-fastest pace (94.25). The Thunder are second in offensive rating (110.1), fifth in defensive rating (99.5) and play at the league’s eighth-fastest pace (96.34).

Tip-off from the Amway Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST and will be shown locally on FS Florida.

As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and FM 96.5 and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.

The officials for tonight’s game are Joe Crawford, Curtis Blair and Sean Corbin.

The Line: Oklahoma City – 12.5 (208u)

Starters:

Oklahoma City Thunder

Kendrick Perkins
Serge Ibaka
Kevin Durant
Thabo Sefolosha
Russell Westbrook

Orlando Magic

Kyle O’Quinn
Tobias Harris
Maurice Harkless
Arron Afflalo
Jameer Nelson

Kyle O’Quinn has been tapped for his first career NBA start with Nikola Vucevic out from an illness caused by a concussion he suffered in Indiana on Tuesday. E’Twaun Moore started when Vucevic missed Wednesday’s game in NYC.

Thunder Resources:

Daily Thunder
The Oklahoman
Thunderous Intentions
Thunder Report
Welcome To Loud City

Andrew Melnick is a Senior blogger for Magic Basketball Online and a contributor at SB Nation. Andrew has covered the Orlando Magic for four years and also works as a radio host. You can follow him on twitter here.