Paul George buried a 3-pointer with 58.5 seconds to play Monday night, helping the Oklahoma City Thunder stave off an Orlando Magic rally en route to a hard-fought, 112-105 victory in Oklahoma City.
George totaled a game-high 26 points for the Thunder, who were coming off a 112-80 shellacking at Golden State in a national showcase game on Saturday.
Evan Fournier hit five 3-pointers on a 19-point night for the Magic, who lost their sixth straight.
Oklahoma City trailed by as many as 11 in the first half and was still down 77-75 with 2:20 remaining in the third period before scoring the quarter’s final nine points, three on a 3-pointer by Raymond Felton.
The Thunder went up 103-91 with 5:55 to play on a hoop by Russell Westbrook, but Fournier connected on two of his 3-pointers in a 10-2 flurry that gave the Magic a chance at 105-101 with still 1:46 to play.
But George then connected on his critical hoop, creating the space the Thunder needed to coast home.
Steven Adams had 16 points and Westbrook complemented just eight points with a 12-rebound, 11-assist double-double, but it was the bench that provided the biggest lift for the Thunder.
Felton (13 points), Alex Abrines (12), Patrick Patterson (11) and Jerami Grant (10) all scored in double figures off the Oklahoma City bench, helping the Thunder reserves outscore their Orlando counterparts 48-24.
In winning for the third time in their last four games, the Thunder outrebounded the Magic 50-35.
Jonathon Simmons matched Fournier’s 19-point total for Orlando, who went 0-2 on its three-day, two-game trip to Philadelphia and Oklahoma City.
Aaron Gordon had 18 points, Nikola Vucevic 15 and D.J. Augustin 10 to go with a team-high nine assists for Orlando, which lost its third straight on the road.
Gordon had exploded for 40 points when the Magic won 121-108 at home over Oklahoma City in November. The teams split their season series.
The Magic connected on seven 3-pointers, including three by center Vucevic, while taking as much as eight-point lead in the first quarter.
Orlando totaled 12 3-pointers in the game.
—Field Level Media