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Thunder crushes Magic, reminds you they are contenders

Dec 26, 2011, 1:07 AM EDT

Orlando Magic v Oklahoma City Thunder Getty Images

This game went pretty much like everyone expected.

The Oklahoma City Thunder looked like the contenders with Kevin Durant playing like an MVP candidate, the team playing balanced on offense and showing real depth with their second unit.

The Magic just looked confused. Dwight Howard looked off.

In the end that led to a blowout. It was a 97-89 final, but that was not indicitive of how convincing a win this was for Oklahoma City, which was up 18 after three.

Oklahoma City basically relied on the same system Atlanta used to knock Orlando out of the playoffs last year — if you have a big man who can defend Howard one-one-one and keep him in check you can shut down the Magic. Kendrick Perkins held Howard to 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting. The Thunder closed out at the arc and held the Magic to 28.6 percent from three. That’s your ballgame.

The other key was depth. Off the bench for the Thunder Nick Collison was +18, Eric Maynor +12, Nazir Mohammed +12 and James Harden +8 with 19 points (second best on the team).

I’m not sure we learned anything new here. We knew the Thunder were contenders and they looked the part. We had questions about the Magic and how the team would be built, how they and Howard would deal with the swirling trade rumors, and it didn’t look good.

One game does not a season make, but both teams lived up to expectations on Christmas.

  1. dgforreal - Dec 26, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    Whoa at the typo lol. Auto-correct gone wrong?

  2. thekingdave - Dec 26, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Can someone remind me why Kurt Helin is the lead writer for PBT?

  3. IainRWB - Dec 26, 2011 at 3:49 AM

    Love the typo, but is this not a family site? Haha.

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 26, 2011 at 2:36 PM

      It’s corrected. My bad (and on Christmas we were drinking egg not not editing).

  4. stillbleedingblue - Dec 26, 2011 at 5:27 AM

    You really should proof read your articles. It seems there are basic spelling errors in every few postings.

  5. addict2sport - Dec 26, 2011 at 8:31 AM

    Perkins held Howard to 11. Further proof that Howard is NOT worth Gasol and Bynum.

    • njsteeler - Dec 26, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      addict2sport…, Perk use to do a decent job on Howard when he was a Celtic. One of the reasons The Big 3+1 weren’t happy about the trade.

  6. explosionsauce - Dec 26, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Good writer, you are not. Replacement or editor, greatly needed. -Yoda

  7. dgforreal - Dec 26, 2011 at 10:54 AM


  8. edweird0 - Dec 26, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    OKC vs. HEAT in the finals! Calling it now! Its gunna be one epic of a series.

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