Nikola Vucevic scored 28 points to lift Orlando to a 118-107 road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, and the Magic improved to 4-0 for the first time in their 32-year history.
The game was tied early in the fourth quarter, but as usual, Orlando closed strong.
The Magic outscored Oklahoma City 31-22 in the fourth. During its hot start, Orlando has scored at least 30 points in the fourth quarter in each game while outscoring the opposition by at least nine points every time.
The Magic are averaging 36.5 points in the fourth.
While Markelle Fultz powered Orlando in the fourth in its previous two wins, Dwayne Bacon provided the offensive punch down the stretch Tuesday.
Bacon’s three buckets early in the fourth helped Orlando start to pull away after the Thunder tied the game early in the quarter.
Bacon, who came in averaging just four points, scored eight of his 18 points in the fourth and finished 9 of 10 from the field.
The Thunder (1-2) were without a pair of starters — Al Horford and George Hill. Horford was resting on the second night of a back-to-back while Hill was out due to neck spasms.
Without the two veterans, Oklahoma City went young with its starting lineup as Isaiah Roby and Justin Jackson made their first appearances of the season and moved into the starting lineup. It was Roby’s first career start.
While Vucevic got off to a hot start, going 4 of 5 from the field in the first quarter, Roby helped keep the Thunder within striking distance.
Roby, who hadn’t scored in three previous NBA games — all last season — had nine first-quarter points and finished with 19 on 9-of-12 shooting.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Oklahoma City with 23 points, going 8 of 10 from the floor and adding seven rebounds and seven assists.
The Magic’s defense forced 20 turnovers. The Thunder turned the ball over four times in the final quarter while Orlando had just one giveaway in the final 12 minutes.
Oklahoma City also didn’t help itself at the free-throw line, missing 9 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter and shooting just 10 of 19 (52.6 percent) from the line for the game.
While Fultz struggled on offense in the fourth, shooting just 1 of 5, he wound up with 11 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
–Field Level Media