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    Darius Bazley stars as Thunder down Magic to halt three-game slide

    Jan 3, 2021
    PHOTO: AP

    By JOHN DENTON

    ORLANDO, Florida — Darius Bazley had a season-high 19 points, George Hill scored 13 of his 18 points in the third quarter and Oklahoma City beat Orlando, 108-99, on Saturday night (Sunday, Manila time).

    The Thunder ended a three-game losing streak and bounced back nicely from a 33-point loss to New Orleans two nights earlier. Oklahoma City also avenged a 118-107 home loss against the Magic five nights ago.

    Bazley converted a driving, left-handed dunk with 4:37 left to give the Thunder a 99-91 lead, their largest of the night up to that point. Al Horford, who finished with 12 points and six rebounds, drilled a straight-on 3-pointer with 50 seconds to play, sending the Thunder on their way to the second road victory of the season.

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds while outplaying Magic point guard Markelle Fultz, who made just five of 16 shots and finished with 12 points.

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    Orlando has dropped two straight after starting the season 4-0. Nikola Vucevic scored a season-best 30 points by making 13 of 21 shots, including four 3-pointers. Terrence Ross scored 26 points off the Orlando bench.

    The Thunder trailed by seven points in the second quarter but grabbed the lead late in the third and never trailed the rest of the way. They outscored the Magic 22-15 in the fourth period. Orlando shot just 37% from the floor for the game.

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    For a second straight game, the Magic were without one of their primary backcourt scorers. Ross, the team's leading scorer at 21 points per game, returned following a one-game absence with a hamstring irritation, but Evan Fournier missed Saturday's game with back spasms.

    TIP-INS

    Thunder: Saturday's game was the first stop on a five-game, 10-day road trip for the Thunder. The trip will allow the Thunder to face two teams — Orlando and New Orleans — that they have already lost to this season. ... The Thunder entered Saturday's game ranked 30th in the league in free throw percentage (62.3%), 29th in makes (12) and 28th in attempts (19.3).

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    Magic: Orlando entered Saturday last in the league in 3-point attempts (26.8) and makes (8.8) per game.

    UP NEXT

    Thunder: Play at Miami on Monday.

    Magic: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. The two teams play again in Orlando on Wednesday.

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      PHOTO: AP
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