Each of the three top contenders in the Western Conference took a loss on Thursday night, with the third place Oklahoma City Thunder, second place Denver Nuggets, and first place Golden State Warriors all failing to get a win.
Orlando Magic - 103 Golden State Warriors - 96
THe Golden State Warriors lose a questionable game on the road to the Orlando Magic. Orlando used a 33 point fourth quarter to claw back into the game and ultimately pull off one of their biggest victories of the season. The loss is the second in a row for the Warriors, who lost to the Heat just Wednesday night. Golden State has now lost three of their last four games, and face a difficult road test in Philadelphia on Saturday.
Denver Nuggets - 104 Utah Jazz - 111
Unable to take advantage of a Warrior’s loss, the Denver Nuggets fell at home to the Utah Jazz. The loss represented just the fifth home loss all season, ending a nine game Nuggets home winning streak. The Jazz dominated the game from tipoff, and were able to protect a 15 point halftime lead for the remainder of the game. Donovan Mitchell was the leading scorer in the game, dropping 24 points for Utah. After the loss, the Nuggets are still a half game back from the first place Warriors.
Thunder - 104 Philadelphia 76ers - 108
Oklahoma City was the third top team from the west to lose on Thursday night. Without co-star Paul George available for OKC, the Thunder trailed the 76ers for virtually the entire game. After tying the score at 93-93 with just over three minutes left, OKC was unable to finish the job at home, losing their 23rd game of the season. 76ers forward Tobias Harris led all scorers with 32, while Russell Westbrook recorded yet another triple double in a losing effort, scoring 23 points with 11 assists and 11 rebounds.