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OKC Thunder Visit The Magic

  • Tonight in Orlando the OKC Thunder visit the Magic, as Shaq’s jersey is retired and raised to the rafters in the Kia Center. It is also the first night of a challenging home court back-to-back for the Magic, the Knicks coming into O-Town tomorrow.

Regular Season Game 54 – Oklahoma City Thunder vs Orlando Magic

  • Venue – Kia Center, Orlando, Florida 
  • U.K. tip time is 12:30am, which is 7:30pm in Orlando.
  • Tonight here in the U.K. there are two options to watch the game live. The game is being carried on TNT Sports 1. As always it is also live and on demand via an active NBA League Pass subscription.
  • As the OKC Thunder visit the Magic tonight unfortunately there will be no commentary from the Bally Sports Florida team, this being a nationally broadcast game across the USA.

Orlando Magic 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 29-24
  • Run: Won 2 and are 6-4 in the last 10 played (all 6 wins have come in the last 8 games).
  • Home Record 17-7 (17-6 in the Kia Center; one “home court” loss was in Mexico City).
  • Road Record 12-17
  • Standing: 6th in the East
  • Points Per GameFor 111.6 Against 110.8
  • RatingOffensive 24th Defensive 4th
  • Looking at back-to-back games this season, the Magic are still fairing similarly to last season so far.
    • This Season – First Night 5-5 : Second Night 2-8
    • Last Season – First Night 6-7 : Second Night 1-12

Last Time Out For Orlando: vs Chicago Bulls 

  • The Magic took a thrilling home court overtime win by 108-114 against the Bulls.
  • Orlando in a huge win overcame an eight-point deficit in the final quarter to force overtime. 
  • Magic mistakes helped Chicago stay in the game. 17 turnovers led to 31 points for the Bulls. Allowing 18 offensive rebounds also saw the Bulls getting multiple extra possessions.
  • Franz Wagner had a 36-point performance. He has now scored 30-plus points in three of his last four games.
  • Paolo Banchero again filled up the stat sheet with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. 
  • Jalen Suggs added 13 points. Cole Anthony with a 14 point, 11 rebound double-double, was joined by Jonathan Isaac and Goga Bitadze in coming up big for the Magic down the stretch.
  • The starting lineup was Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • From the bench Jonathan Isaac, Gary Harris, Cole Anthony, Moritz Wagner, Joe Ingles and Goga Bitadze were the core used.
  • Anthony Black, Chuma Okeke, Caleb Houstan, Trevelin Queen and Admiral Schofield were available but did not play. 

Tonight

  • Again the Magic have no listed injury issues, the entire 18 man roster being available.
  • Jett Howard is available having been recalled from G-League assignment.
  • Kevon Harris is listed as available also
  • Coach Mosley is unlikely to change up his preferred starting option and continue to lock in with the core bench unit.

The Oklahoma City Thunder

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 36-17 Run: Won 1 and are at 6-4 in the last 10 played.
  • Standing: 2nd in the West 
  • Points Per GameFor 120.7 Against 113.6
  • RatingOffensive 5th Defensive 6th
  • On the road the Thunder have a 15-11 record.
  • The Thunder are superb in attack mode, fast and energetic. They are leagues leaders in points off of turnovers and 10th in fast break points. The team are sixth at scoring in the paint. Though not the highest volume three-point-shooting team they are one of the league’s most accurate at just shy of 40%. Shooting the two is also top 10 for accuracy. 
  • Defensively, the Thunder are a hustle team. They lead the NBA in blocks, concede the second fewest fast break points, are 3rd at restricting opponent points in the paint and are 4th at making steals.
  • This team also commit very few turnovers, as a result conceding limited points in that category also.
  • Leading OKC’s attack is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, with 31.1 points per game (2nd in the NBA) and is shooting 55.5% from the floor. He is the league leader in steals per game, 10th in assists and has got to the line the second most times this season in the league.
  • Chet Holmgren is a force on both ends of the court. He putting up 16.8 points per game, shooting a field goal percentage of almost 54% and is hitting 40.1% from the three. He is also blocking the fourth-most shots per game in the league at 2.6.
  • The scoring and assist contributions of Jalen Williams (18.9 ppg and 4.6 apg) and Josh Giddey (11.5 ppg and 4.5 apg) can not be ignored either.

Last Time Out For The Oklahoma City Thunder 

  • The Thunder took a home court win by 113-127 over the Sacramento Kings on February 11th.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with a 38 point and 7 assists performance. 
  • Jalen Williams followed up with 32 points and 9 assists.
  • Only 21 of the 127 points came from the 6 bench players used.
  • Starting 5 – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Lu Dort, Jalen Williams, Chet Holmgren
  • Jaylin Williams, Aaron Wiggins, Isaiah Joe, Kenrich Williams, Carson Wallace and Ousmane Dieng came from the bench.
  • Aleksej Pokusevski, Olivier Sarr and Lindy Waters III were available but did not play.
  • Gordon Hayward, Bismack Biyombo, Adam Flagler and Keyontae Graham were all inactive.

Tonight

  • Head coach Mark Daigneault has almost a full roster to play with also. He is therefore unlikely to vary far from his tried and tested rotations.
  • Bismack Biyombo (not with the team) and Gordon Hayward (left calf; strain) are out. Adam Flagler Keyontae Johnson and Olivier Sarr (all G League – Two-Way) are also not featured.

Head-To-Head With The Oklahoma City Thunder 

  • In 69 regular season games played the score stands at 26-43 to the Thunder.
  • This season on game day 39 on the road in Oklahoma the Magic fell to a 100-112 loss to the Thunder. Too many injury absences, too many missed free throws, too many turnovers, foul trouble and poor shooting percentages (20% from the three) were all impactful on the outcome. Paolo Banchero led the Magic as he recorded 20 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists.
  • The last three seasons have all been split 1-1, with the past two campaigns seeing each team win at home. 
  • Orlando last won the series in season 2008-09!

A Final Thought As The OKC Thunder Visit The Magic

  • This is a different Orlando team to the one that lost in Oklahoma just a few weeks ago on January 13th. That game saw Markelle Fultz, Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr, Gary Harris, Joe Ingles, Jett Howard and Kevon Harris all unavailable.
  • Whilst that is a major boost from the previous game the Thunder are a difficult opponent for the Magic. OKC are very effective on offence and excel at the defence of many of the Magic’s better offensive categories. 
  • For many of the Magic roster it will be a first nationally televised game in the NBA. Therefore there could be a different pressure to the game for this young roster, compared to the Thunder roster who feature regularly. It also coincides with the post game retirement of Shaquille O’Neal’s jersey.
  • By retiring the number 32 O’Neal becomes the first player in franchise history to have his number retired. The big man remains ranked among the franchise’s all-time leaders in many categories. Shaq is a member of the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team in October 2021. He is legitimately the first player to put the Orlando Magic on the map. 

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!