Magic aim to get back on track vs. Thunder

After starting 4-0 for the first time in franchise history, the Orlando Magic got a bit of a reality check in Thursday's loss to Philadelphia.

The Magic are hoping to get back on track Saturday when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"I like our team," Orlando coach Steve Clifford said. "I like who we can become. We're not putting enough into guarding the ball and helping. We're not.

"Things that we've been very good at for two years we're not going, and that's the hard things."

The Magic shot a season-low -- by a wide margin -- 34.7 percent from the floor and 25 percent from behind the 3-point line in the 116-92 loss while struggling defensively, especially in guarding the 3-point line.

Orlando was also hit with the injury bug in that loss, with Evan Fournier and Chuma Okeke leaving the game and Terrence Ross sitting out after suffering a hamstring injury in Tuesday's win in Oklahoma City.

Fournier left Thursday's game with back spasms.

Ross is listed as probable for Saturday's game while Fournier is questionable. Okeke is expected to miss several weeks with a left knee bone bruise.

Dwayne Bacon said injuries weren't an excuse and that the Magic, hoping to make a leap after back-to-back first-round playoff exits, needed to be able to sustain their drive.

"We came out with no focus, no intensity, no will to want to win to begin the season 5-0," Bacon said. "I'm not going to sit here and say you're going to have nights like that just to say it, but you are. But that's when you've just got to push through.

"We know it's a weird year. We know we're going to play every other night but at the end of the day, we've got to be able to play through whatever and play whenever."

Orlando isn't the only team looking for a bounce back.

The Thunder have lost three consecutive games, but in the first of those two losses -- including a 118-107 loss to Orlando earlier in the week -- Oklahoma City was competitive until the end.

That wasn't the case Thursday in a 33-point blowout loss to New Orleans where the Thunder scored just 80 points for the first time since a post-season loss in August to the Houston Rockets.

After being a complementary piece during his first two NBA, the first with the Los Angeles Clippers and last year with the Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is adjusting to being the No. 1 option.

Gilgeous-Alexander had his toughest game of the season Thursday, going just 3 of 10 from the field.

George Hill, one of the few veterans on the Thunder, said the season would be a process, not only for Gilgeous-Alexander but the rest of the roster.

"We're a super, super young team and a lot of them don't have any experience on the court," Hill said. "We're just out here rolling the ball, rolling the dice, trying to figure it all out together. But their heart and effort is there, and that's all you can ask from a young player."

--Field Level Media