Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC Thunder | Game #5 Preview: Magic

Zachary Low

zacharylow88

Tip-Off: 6 PM CT

Location: Amway Center (Orlando, Florida)

Television: Fox Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @ZacharyLowNBA for live-tweets and discussion during the game

It’s been a whopping four days since the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Orlando Magic met for their first meeting of this season, and tonight they will conclude the regular season series in Orlando.

After winning their first game of the season on a buzzer beater, the Thunder has struggled. Whether that’s intentional or not, I don’t know, but a win tonight would do some good for morale. I wouldn’t count on it, though, as the Magic stared off the season with a franchise-record 4 straight wins before finally dropping a 116-92 decision to the Philadelphia 76ers on New Year’s Eve.

The focus for the Thunder tonight needs to be stopping Nikola Vučević, who dominated the paint against OKC on Tuesday on his way to 28 points and 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Al Horford and George Hill sat out in the first matchup, but they will be active in this one, so perhaps that will make a difference.

Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game, the focus continues to remain the same: development and improvement are the goal this season, not winning.

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • SG: George Hill
  • SF: Luguentz Dort
  • PF: Darius Bazley
  • C: Al Horford

Magic

  • PG: Markelle Fultz
  • SG: Dwayne Bacon
  • SF: Evan Fournier
  • PF: Aaron Gordon
  • C: Nikola Vučević

Injuries

Thunder

  • Trevor Ariza is OUT (not with team).
  • Ty Jerome is OUT (sprained left ankle).

Magic

  • Al-Farouq Aminu is OUT (right knee injury recovery).
  • James Ennis III is OUT (right calf/hamstring strain).
  • Evan Fournier is QUESTIONABLE (lower back spasms).
  • Jonathan Isaac is OUT (left knee injury recovery).
  • Chuma Okeke is OUT (left knee bone bruise).
  • Terrence Ross is PROBABLE (right hamstring irritation).

Head-to-Head

  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 17-8 against the Magic in the regular season (11-2 at home, 6-6 on the road).
  • In 12 seasons, the Thunder has won the season series with the Magic 6 times, lost it once, and tied it 5 times.
  • The Thunder went 2-0 against the Magic last season (1-0 at home, 1-0 on the road).
  • The Thunder is 0-1 against the Magic so far this season (0-1 at home, 0-0 on the road).

Game Notes

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