Kevin Durant scored 30 points on 11-19 shooting as the Oklahoma City Thunder opened up their 2011-12 season with a 97-89 win over the visiting Orlando Magic on Sunday. James Harden offered 19 off the bench as his bid for a Sixth Man of the Year award began in earnest. The Thunder hit 10-19 on three-pointers.
Dwight Howard was unspectacular for the Magic, scoring just 11 points on abnormally bad 4-12 shooting. He did have the typical 15 rebounds, but Orlando was forced to rely on Ryan Anderson (25 points) and Jameer Nelson (18) for much of the team's offense.
Should Howard continue to underwhelm -- he was pretty iffy in the preseason, too -- expect the questions about whether he's tanking to force a trade to pop up. Carmelo Anthony faced similar charges early last season as his defense began to look even less vigilant than usual. We're used to seeing much bigger numbers from Dwight than what he offered on Sunday.