Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points, and Chris Paul added 20 as the host Oklahoma City Thunder continued their dominance of the Orlando Magic with a 102-94 victory on Tuesday.
Gilgeous-Alexander shot 9 of 14 from the field, and Paul made clutch free throws down the stretch for the Thunder, who have won 14 of the past 17 encounters with Orlando.
Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams recorded 11 points and as many rebounds in his return from a two-game absence caused by a left knee contusion.
Aaron Gordon had 15 points and four other players finished with 13 for the Magic, who connected on just 3 of 22 attempts from 3-point range en route to their third straight loss. Orlando, which fell to 0-3 on the road, also remained the lone NBA team that has yet to score 100 points in a game this season.
The Magic pulled even with the Thunder on two occasions to begin the fourth quarter, only to be turned away by rookie Darius Bazley. After Bazley drove to the basket to regain the lead with 10:42 remaining, the 19-year-old answered Nikola Vucevic’s layup with a 3-pointer to stake the Thunder to an 86-83 lead.
Gilgeous-Alexander drained a short jumper and then connected from beyond the arc with 4:21 remaining before Adams and Paul worked the interior to push Oklahoma City to a 95-87 advantage with 2:09 to play.
The Thunder created breathing room early in the third quarter, with Danilo Gallinari sinking a floating jumper and a 3-pointer highlighting the team’s 10-4 run.
Oklahoma City’s 68-59 lead didn’t last long, however, as Markelle Fultz countered by making a pair of shots on the interior and Vucevic sank a 20-foot jumper as Orlando surged back to within 72-71 with 3:36 left in the third quarter.
The Thunder benefited from a 7-for-18 performance from 3-point range to seize a 58-53 halftime lead. The Magic were unable to close the gap after connecting on just 2 of 9 attempts from long range and 19 of 43 (44.2 percent) from the floor.
Bazley drained a 3-pointer to ignite a 10-2 run to stake Oklahoma City to an early 28-17 lead in the first quarter.
—Field Level Media