Oklahoma City is a trendy pick to come out of the Western Conference and to earn a spot in the NBA Finals this season. On Christmas Day they certainly looked the part in defeating the Orlando Magic 97-89 to open the NBA's regular season.
The Thunder were dominant throughout before taking the foot off the gas peddle in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City led by as many as 22 points before the Magic outscored them by 10 in the final 12 minutes to make the score respectable.
Kevin Durant scored a game-high 30 points to lead the Thunder. He went 11-19 from the field and added five rebounds and six assists. Sixth-man James Harden came off the bench to score 19 points going 10-12 from the free throw line. Russell Westbrook struggled from the field going 6-17 but finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Westbrook did account for seven of the Thunder's 16 turnovers in the game.
The Thunder and Kendrick Perkins did a great job controlling Dwight Howard who was limited to just 11 points and 15 rebounds in 38 minutes. Howard was 4-12 from the floor and just 3-8 from the free throw line.
Ryan Anderson led the Magic with 25 points including six baskets from beyond-the-arc. Jameer Nelson chipped in 18 points and six assists in the loss. Glen Davis finished with six points and five rebounds in his Orlando Magic debut.