Denton: Magic-Timberwolves Postgame Analysis

By John Denton
January 15, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS – Facing the monumental task of trying to slow down the double-double machine that is Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Orlando Magic reserve power forward Ryan Anderson went back to school Saturday night and did his homework as well.

A collegiate product of Cal, Anderson has a history of battling Love, who starred in college at Pac-10 rival UCLA. So on Saturday when Anderson starred down Love, the NBA’s leader in rebounding and double-doubles, he knew he would have to remain active offensively to pull Love away from the rim and fight him in the post.

Anderson’s work on Love and some clutch shooting from Jason Richardson and J.J. Redick were big reasons why the sluggish Magic were able to dig their way out of an early 15-point hole and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-99 at the Target Center.

Anderson registered his second double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Spearheading the Magic’s second-unit, he keyed an Orlando rally in the second period and his group finished off a 33-18 third period that vaulted Orlando into the lead. And most importantly, Anderson held Love to just 11 points on five of 12 shooting and 15 rebounds. Also, Love did not make a 3-pointer after entering the game with 59 on the season.

``Obviously (Love) is a lot better now than he was at college and it’s hard to compare college to the NBA, but one thing that I remembered from college and tried to take into mind was to control the boards against him and not get wedged under the rim,’’ Anderson said. ``He’s pretty hard to completely stop from having a good game, but I think we all as a team did a pretty good job of keeping him off the offensive glass.’’

The Magic (26-14) snapped a two-game losing streak that came on the heels of a franchise-record-tying nine-game win streak. The Magic are now 10-4 since the Dec. 18 trades that brought them Hedo Turkoglu, Gilbert Arenas, Earl Clark and Richardson.

Redick scored 21 points off the bench, none bigger than a four-point play with 5:58 to play where he had the breath knocked out of him by two colliding Minnesota defenders. Richardson had another 21 points and three 3-pointers, continuing what’s been a great three-game roadtrip for him personally. Franchise center Dwight Howard added 16 points, nine rebounds and three steals.

``J.J. has been playing well. He’s always ready to play and so is Jason Richardson,’’ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. ``Those guys always play hard. You can count of their energy.’’

Here’s a look back at what went right, what went wrong and some final observations from Saturday night’s somewhat strange, inconsistent game in frigid Minneapolis: