12/25/2011 08:08 pm ET

Magic Vs Thunder LIVE UPDATES: Kevin Durant And Dwight Howard Battle On Christmas

Location, location, location.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are the model small market franchise. Having already quietly signed scoring champ Kevin Durant to an extension while other superstars have been bemoaning their own surroundings, the Thunder are widely considered the "next" team in the West. Unless, of course, Chris Paul's Clippers have anything to say about that.

In the East, the Magic are at the other end of the small -- really a mid-market, actually -- market spectrum, having a high wattage star looking for a brighter stage. Dwight Howard has eyes for Los Angeles and Brooklyn, but will open the season with Orlando. Will he bring his A-game even if he isn't playing for his first-choice team?

The fourth game in the NBA's Christmas spectacular, Thunder vs. Magic features two of the game's most compelling young stars even if it's not taking place in one of the game's most compelling locales. Well, this game actually contains three of the game's best young stars. Please don't tell Russell Westbrook that we left him out initially. He seems like a guy that would take that slight personally.



12/25/2011 10:40 PM EST

What's Next

@ LukeRussert :

Kevin Durant is such a great guy. I've never seen a #NBA guy sign an autograph walking off the court after a game. He makes #DC proud.

12/25/2011 10:40 PM EST

What Next?

@ netw3rk :

KD just making sons around the world look bad now.

12/25/2011 10:39 PM EST


OKC: 97

ORL: 89

12/25/2011 10:39 PM EST

Kiss For Mom

As Von Wafer shoots some meaningless free throws, Durant has a quick kiss for mom sitting courtside.

12/25/2011 10:38 PM EST

Magic Not Fouling

And Durant slices to rack for two points. It's a 10 point lead with less than 20 seconds left.

12/25/2011 10:37 PM EST


Fans called into action unexpectedly. Shot clock dwindles, Nelson's prayer bounces out to OKC. That should do it.

12/25/2011 10:36 PM EST

Staying Alive

Durant misses a pair of free throws and then Anderson hits another three, from corner. It's an 8-point gamei with 1:01 to play.

12/25/2011 10:35 PM EST

Silver Lining

@ OMagicDaily :

Von Wafer can create his own shot... Very nice work from him late in this one.

12/25/2011 10:33 PM EST

Mini Run Halted

Magic again creeped within striking distance but Durant nails a three to push game out of reach again. There was a window for Magic here but they couldn't get their act together on offense and eventually Thunder get their groove back. Stella, as well.

12/25/2011 10:31 PM EST


@ GetBangedOn :

OK. This game is done. We need to watch the Clippers now. #wrapthatshitupB