Facing a potential third straight loss, the Oklahoma City Thunder turned to their defense to bail them out against one of the league's worst teams.
The Thunder might have a more difficult time trying to slip past a Portland Trail Blazers team that has built some momentum on its road trip.
Oklahoma City will try to beat Portland for the sixth straight time and move within two games of the Western Conference lead on Sunday night.
While they have one of the NBA's top scoring offenses, the Thunder (51-19) stepped up defensively after visiting Orlando took a stunning two-point lead with 7:29 remaining on Friday. Oklahoma City held the lowly Magic without a field goal over the final 2:26 on the way to a 97-89 home win that snapped its brief two-game skid.
The Thunder have allowed 97.2 points per game on the season, but limited their opponents to just 89.5 on 38.7 percent shooting in their last two contests.
"We had two tough losses ... I give our guys a lot of credit,...