Tobias Harris Buzzer Beating Dunk Propels Orlando Magic to Victory
Oklahoma City was up one and the shot clock winding down and then Kevin Durant missed a jumper with 4.9 seconds remaining that would have clinched a win. Victor Oladipo fought off two Thunder players to snatch the ball, not call timeout, sprint up the court, and find Maurice Harkless under the basket. Harkless drops the ball to a slashing Tobias Harris who slammed home a buzzer beating victory that erupted Amway Center and the rest of the Orlando community, as the Magic survived the buzzsaw that is the Oklahoma City Thunder escaping with the 103-102 victory.
The Orlando Magic’s home winning streak now stands at 4, as they withstood the Western Conference’s #1 team.
It’s probably the best Magic buzzer beating victory since Rashard Lewis drilled the clutch 3-pointer to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals. You have to go back to Dwight Howard’s dunk at the buzzer to beat the San Antonio Spurs back in 2007 to really understand how rare a feat of winning the game as the final buzzer expires with a dunk.
Kevin Durant scored 29 points, but was held to just 1-of-7 shooting in the last quarter. Tip of the cap to Maurice Harkless for wanting to defend Durantula in the fourth period. Harkless finished with only 1 point and 3 assists, but his last assist ended up being the best of his young NBA career.
Tobias Harris finished the game while also leading the Magic in scoring with 18 points. Nikola Vucevic snuck in a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double. Arron Afflalo managed 16 points in the contest.
- If you haven’t been paying attention, the Oklahoma City Thunder entered Friday’s contest having won 12 of their last 13 games with Kevin Durant making his MVP push. Tobias Harris was the first of many to draw the assignment of trying to defend him.
- Oklahoma City utilized a 15-4 run at the end of the first period, and led Orlando 36-23 after twelve minutes. Kevin Durant had 15 of those points with OKC shooting 70 FG%.
- Before the 2nd period began, Orlando honored former employees Jeff Turner, John Gabriel, and Sam Vincent. No ugly paintings for either of them, but there were no highlight videos either.
- For all of you Spring Training baseball and supermodel fans, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and Kate Upton (who participated in the dance cam) were in attendance.
- Late in the 1st half, a Magic season ticketholder made a lay-up, a free throw, and a 3-pointer in 24 seconds to win $10,000. He hit the 3-pointer on his only attempt before the buzzer. Clutch.
- Orlando trailed 65-51 at halftime. Thunder shot 59.5 FG% while the Magic managed 52.5 FG%. Main difference was that OKC shot 8-of-12 from 3-point range. Orlando was 3-of-6 from deep.
- Glen Davis got angry in the 3rd quarter and fueled a Magic comeback. Big Baby would score 10 crucial points in that period. An Arron Afflalo bucket then followed and Orlando was down 74-66 midway through the period.
- Things got a little testy between Serge Ibaka and Glen Davis with some extracurricular shoving. Meanwhile, Derek Fisher pushed Arron Afflalo for no reason and double technicals were issued.
- Orlando had their bench unit along with Tobias Harris, and began the fourth period on an 8-0 run as the 15,595 Amway Center patrons started bringing the crowd noise. 88-88 at that time.
- After Ibaka got away with clothes-lining Oladipo, Reggie Jackson made back-to-back buckets and we had another stalemate with 4:34 remaining and the score at 97-97.
- An Oladipo drive from the left side of the paint to the other end and lay-up finish while splitting the OKC defense tied the contest again at 99-99 with 3:15 remaining.
- OKC had the ball with 55.2 seconds left and a 102-101 lead where a Magic 5-second violation and Glen Davis successfully taking a charge only added to the drama of the finale before Tobias’ conclusive ending.
mBo Crown Royal #ReignOn Tweet of the Night
— Bow Tie Killa (@ZachOliverNBA) February 8, 2014
The 15-37 Orlando Magic continue their home stand Sunday when they host the Indiana Pacers, the Thunder of the East, if you will.
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Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.