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Thunder Holds Off Late Magic Rally

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Things got a little more interesting than they should have down the stretch, but the Thunder was able to hold off a ferocious Magic rally to keep its record-shattering start alive and well at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Oklahoma City led by 12 with more than three minutes remaining but failed to make another shot the rest of the way. But the existing double-digit cushion and a last-second block from Serge Ibaka propelled the Thunder to a 101-98 victory against Orlando, improving OKC to a record-extending 12-0 mark at home.

The 12-game home winning streak matches the second-longest in franchise history – the longest being 14-straight in 2012 – but it continues to expand on the best home start to a season, which was four wins and has since been left in the dust.

This one didn't come easily and the teams were nearly deadlocked in most statistical categories. Examples being both teams pulled down 45 rebounds and turned it over 14 times and Orlando outshot OKC by a narrow percentage margin of 45.1 to 44.8.

However, the Thunder dominated in a few key areas that helped fuel the team's 19th victory of the season.

Oklahoma City had a 50-30 scoring edge in the paint, a 27-12 advantage in fast-break points and won by a 7-2 margin in blocks, most notably Ibaka's with 1.3 seconds remaining that sealed the win.

Individually, Kevin Durant led the way with 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists and continued his run of efficiency on 11-of-18 shooting, 2-for-3 from 3 and 4-of-5 from the foul line. Russell Westbrook posted a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds with six assists, as the Thunder won its sixth-straight game and its 14th in its past 15.

Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb continued their impressive play off the bench but Lamb in particular stole the show. He scored 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting and hit 2-of-3 from deep, continuing to display a growing comfort level in OKC's system and a knack for hitting open looks with more proficiency.

Jackson chipped in 10 points, five assists and four boards in 23 minutes.

Other than the block at the end, it was a rather forgettable game for Ibaka, who finished with just four points and two rebounds on 2-of-6 shooting. Kendrick Perkins had four points and five boards, Nick Collison had just two points and three rebounds, and Steven Adams turned in six points and four rebounds, as the Thunder struggled all night against the Magic's interior tandem of Nikola Vucevic and Glen Davis.

Vucevic had 16 rebounds, two more than the total four OKC's four big men.

Arron Afflalo led Orlando (7-17) with 25 points and rookie Victor Oladipo had 15, as all five Magic starters scored in double figures.

Thabo Sefolosha returned to the lineup after missing the past three games with a sprained ankle and scored six points with four steals in 23 minutes. In a fun note for the night, Oklahoma City recorded its 100th-consecutive sellout at The Peake.

The Thunder (19-4) heads back on the road on Tuesday for an 8 p.m. matchup at Denver.

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