Urgency Needed: Thunder Hosting Magic
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Thunder gets a shot at redemption and a chance to wash away the bad taste of a 32-point weekend defeat tonight against the Magic. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CT.
Oklahoma City’s 121-108 loss in Orlando on Nov. 29th represented the lowest point of the season – four games under .500 at 8-12. That Magic win broke a nine-game losing streak, adding insult to injury.
Now seven games over .500, the Thunder still can’t afford to overlook Orlando. OKC fell from fifth to seventh in the West thanks to the Warriors loss and recent surges by Portland and New Orleans. With 21 games left, it’s about time to transition into “playoff mode.”
The Thunder is 20-10 at home and the Magic is 7-24 on the road, but you can throw the records out when the Hornets, Mavs and Lakers have all won in Chesapeake Energy Arena. The intensity has to improve against the league’s doormats.
Over the next 10 games, seven are against a team currently in lottery contention and six are against teams vying for the first pick in the draft. The Thunder is just 1.5 games ahead of ninth-place L.A. Clippers and can’t afford any more losses to tanking teams.