Oklahoma City At Orlando
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Russell Westbrook's MVP case grows stronger with every win, especially since he's the one most responsible for the victories. The All-Star point guard will try to rip off another triple-double and lead his team to another win when the Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
Westbrook scored the last of his 37 points on Monday with seven seconds left to cap a game-closing 14-0 run and give the Thunder a 92-91 win over the Dallas Mavericks, leaving Oklahoma City within one game of the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference. "The thing that any coach wants from his team is to have a never say die attitude, to work, to be relentless and passionate and play all the way to the final buzzer," Thunder coach Billy Donovan told reporters. "(Westbrook) embodies that in every possible way, shape and form there can be. He has this desire and drive where he’ll find a way. Nothing is too insurmountable to overcome." The Magic could use some of that competitiveness after following up an impressive 115-87 win over Detroit with a 131-112 loss at Toronto on Monday. Orlando allowed the Raptors to shoot 59 percent from the field, including 10-of-15 from 3-point range, after limiting the Pistons to 35.4 percent on Friday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN Oklahoma, FSN Florida (Orlando)
ABOUT THE THUNDER (42-31): Westbrook, who scored 12 of the 14 points during Monday's game-ending run, needs five triple-doubles over the final nine games of the season to break Oscar Robertson's record of 41, and he needs to average 5.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists over those nine contests to clinch a triple-double average for the season. "You have to make winning plays," Westbrook told reporters after Monday's triumph. "The game of basketball is not just about scoring. Whether it’s helping a guy out, getting your hand in there or getting steals or whatever it is to make basketball plays to win." The more winning plays the better for Oklahoma City, which is 2 1/2 games behind fourth-place Utah in the West.
ABOUT THE MAGIC (27-47): Orlando won three of four before Monday's defeat and the team wasn't ready to call Monday's loss a setback, instead giving the Raptors credit for making tough shots. "They were making tough shots - fallaways, fadeaways," Magic forward Aaron Gordon told reporters. "They were moving the ball very well. They execute. Yeah, they were just making shots." Gordon managed 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting in the loss to mark the seventh time in the last nine games he posted at least 16 points.
1. Magic SG Mario Hezonja went 1-of-10 from the floor on Monday and is shooting 18.9 percent from the floor over the last five contests.
2. Thunder SF Andre Roberson is 0-of-7 from 3-point range over the last five games.
3. Orlando earned a 119-117 win at Oklahoma City on Nov. 13 despite 41 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds from Westbrook.
PREDICTION: Thunder 116, Magic 100
Stats and Records
Orlando Off vs
Oklahoma City Def
100.5 Points For
106.1 Points Against