GameDay Blog: Wolves vs. Magic - Nov. 7, 2012




Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Be sure to check Timberwolves.com throughout the night for full analysis, highlights and postgame interviews.

End Q4: That's a wrap here from Target Center, where the Wolves pulled off a 90-75 win here against the Orlando Magic. The team's 3-1 start is the franchise's best since starting out 4-0 in the 2001-02 season. Ridnour finishes with 19 points, Williams with 14 points and Stiemsma with 12. Brandon Roy finished with nine assists. Meanwhile, JJ Redick led the way with 16 points and Arron Afflalo added 12 for the Magic. The Wolves have an off day on Thursday before facing the Pacers on Friday. Final: Min 90, ORL 75

Q4 2:40: A couple stats to look over here as we wrap this one up. The Wolves hold a 36-20 advantage in the paint tonight against the Magic and a 13-5 advantage in second chance points. They've turned 20 Magic turnovers into 19 points, as opposed to Orlando who has only generated 10 points off 19 Wolves turnovers. Meanwhile, Minnesota holds a 44-39 advantage on the boards and has 22 assists on 33 field goals. Stiemsma is one point away from matching his career-high in points--he scored 13 against the Wizards on Jan. 2, 2012. MIN 86, ORL 67

Q4 5:03: Magic call another timeout here with five minutes left, with the bench continuing to get more time here as we close this one out. Lou Amundson, Will Conroy and Malcolm Lee are not checking in to go along with Shved and Cunningham. MIN 86, ORL 59

Q4 6:23: This one is about over at Target Center, as Shved nailed a 3-pointer that all but put this one away at 82-57. The Wolves went on a 24-4 run over a seven minute period leading up to this last timeout to create separation in this fourth quarter. Minnesota started the game shooting 2-of-8 from 3-point range but are 5-of-10 in the second half. MIN 82, ORL 57

Q4 8:39: The Timberwolves are pulling away here the fourth, now owning a 20-point lead at 77-57 with 8:39 to play here in the fourth. Despite a sluggish second quarter, the Wolves are shooting 49 percent in this game. And if you throw out that 5-of-20 second quarter, the Wolves are shooting 60 percent tonight. It's been a big second half for Greg Stiemsma. Known mostly for his defensive presence, he's now 6-of-7 with 12 points tonight. Chase Budinger just hit his first 3-pointer of the evening, and the Wolves are rolling out a Ridnour-Shved-Budinger-Cunningham-Stiemsma lineup as we come out of the timeout. MIN 77, ORL 57

End Q3: The Wolves take a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter thanks to a nice finish in the third, and much of that is attributed to Greg Stiemsma off the bench. Stiemsma pounded his way to the basked late in the frame, and he's got eight points on 4-of-5 shooting tonight. Meanwhile, Ridnour is shooting 6-of-9 tonight for 17 points, Williams has 12 points and Pekovic has 11. No one is dominating the rebounding category, but all five starters have at least four boards--Williams is leading the way with six. Roy still leads both teams with nine assists. MIN 68, ORL 55


Q3 3:58: Wolves center Nikola Pekovic just had the rejection of the night on rookie Moe Harkless, swatting his attempt and sending the Wolves down to the offensive end just moments ago. Minnesota is still up 10, although JJ Redick is starting to heat up a bit for the Magic. He's hit his last two shots after starting 0-for-6, but he's still 0-for-3 from 3-point land. Meanwhile, Roy is 1-for-6 for the Wolves with just three points but has a game-high nine assists and also is tied for a team-high five assists. Ridnour continues to lead the way with a game-high 15 points. MIN 55, ORL 45

Q3 7:20: We're five minutes into the third quarter, and the Wolves are beginning to get their offensive touch back. They're shooting 5-of-9 this quarter, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range as they've opened up an 11-point lead. Ridnour is now 3-of-4 from 3-point land and has a game-high 15 points. That's the type of stat line we saw a lot last year, particularly from distance, and if he can start connecting it will be a huge boost to the Wolves' perimeter game. MIN 51, ORL 40

End Q2: The Wolves stumbled through that second quarter and finished shooting 5-of-20 from the field. They did lose much of their once 15-point lead, but they're still holding onto a 38-34 advantage heading into the break. Luke Ridnour leads the way with nine points on 3-of-5 shooting, while Derrick Williams and Andrei Kirilenko each have seven. Not much bench production from Minnesota, as the group is a collective 3-of-13 for eight points (Budinger 2-of-4 from the line). Brandon Roy leads the team with six assists, but on the boards no Wolves player has more than three. Wolves also shooting 6-of-11 from the line tonight. For Orlando, Afflalo leads with 12 points, while Davis, Redick and Nicholson each have four. Minnesota (2-of-8) and Orlando (2-of-10) each continue to struggle from the 3-point line. Halftime: MIN 38, ORL 34

Q2 2:56: The Wolves once had a 15-point lead in this one, but it dwindled down to four moments ago as Arron Afflalo connected to make it a 31-27 game. Kirilenko responded with a nice drive and score, and we've got a six point contest with just under three minutes left in the quarter. Afflalo is keeping the Magic in this--he's got 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting while no other player on the team has more than four and the other four starters have a combined four points. The Wolves, meanwhile, are 3-of-16 this quarter. 33, ORL 27

Q2 5:38: After starting the game shooting 10-of-15, the Wolves went on an 0-for-11 stretch from the field before Shved connected in the lane moments ago. Neither team had a field goal in the first five minutes of the second. Still, the Wolves lead 29-22 with 5:38 left before halftime. The 3-pointer was a focal point heading into this game, because Orlando--JJ Redick in particular--has been hot so far this season. But the Magic and Wolves are a combined 1-for-13 from deep, including 0-for-6 for Orlando. Kirilenko and Roy are checking back in for the Wolves, joining Barea, Cunningham and Pekovic. MIN 29, ORL 22

Q2 10:20: We're getting our first look at Alexey Shved, who checked in early in the second. He had a big fourth in Brooklyn on Monday night, hitting a pair of big 3-pointers and connecting on a runner in the lane that gave Minnesota the lead for good. One stat to note: Roy, who is on the bench right now, is leading the team with five assists and three rebounds. Minnesota shooting 52 percent, Orlando checking in at 27 percent from the floor. MIN 25, ORL 14

End Q1: We're done with the first, and this version of the Wolves looked a lot like the one we saw in the fourth against Brooklyn. In the past two quarters, Minnesota has allowed 22 points in their last two quarters of play. A lot of that has to do with the Magic straight up missing shots--they're shooting 6-of-21 so far tonight. But the Wolves are playing some tough defense, illustrated by Greg Stiemsma dropping a driving Arron Afflalo on the baseline just moments ago. It looked like a Pek-like wall Afflalo dove into. Williams is leading Minnesota with seven points, Ridnour with six and Kirilenko with 5. Chase Budinger and Dante Cunningham checked in with 5 seconds left in the first, and they'll join Kirilenko, Stiemsma and JJ Barea to start the second. MIN 25, ORL 12

Q1 2:54: Well, we've got our first Derrick Williams dunk of the season in the first quarter. He strolled in alone on the fast break and threw down a one-handed slam, making it a 20-8 game. Check the postgame highlight reels. He's got seven so far on 3-of-5 shooting, and he's done it both in the paint and from the perimeter. Meanwhile, as we get back to the action Greg Stiemsma checks in for Pek. MIN 20, ORL 10

Q1 5:23: We're midway through the first quarter and the Wolves are up 18-6 as we head into a timeout. Minnesota opened up hot from the floor, compiling a 10-2 lead thanks to a fast 4-of-5 start from the field. Derrick Williams connected from three, while Andrei Kirilenko had a nice pump fake and left Josh McRoberts in the air as he drove to the hoop and scored. Meanwhile, Brandon Roy is 0-for-1 from the field but has three assists and three rebounds early. He's facilitating well but he's not very quick to pull the trigger early on. Coming in, Roy is shooting 29 percent from the field this year. The Magic, meanwhile, had three airballs in the first five minutes and are 3-of-10 from the field. MIN 13, ORL 6

Pregame 7:00 PM:> Starting lineups are being announced here at Target Center, so we're almost under way. One change in the Magic's lineup is at small forward, where Josh McRoberts will be starting. Here are your starters: Orlando - PG: E'Twaun Moore, SG: Arron Afflalo, SF: Josh McRoberts, PF: Glen Davis, C: Nik Vucevic. Minnesota - PG: Luke Ridnour, SG: Brandon Roy, SF: Andrei Kirilenko, PF: Derrick Williams, C: Nikola Pekovic. Tipoff momentarily.

Pregame: 6:15 PM: Greetings from Target Center, where the Timberwolves are preparing to take on the Orlando Magic tonight with a 7 p.m. tipoff. Tonight’s game is on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO-AM. Follow along for in-game updates right here, plus log on to Twitter and follow @MNTimberwolves and @MarkRemme for more play-by-play posts throughout the game.

The Wolves are coming in having notched a 22-point comeback in Brooklyn on Monday, winning 107-96 in the franchise’s biggest comeback since 1998. The 2-1 Magic just suffered their first loss of the season in Chicago last night, and coach Jacque Vaughn said the team did not watch film on that defeat. Instead, they talked about situations that could arise in close games down the stretch—similar to their 99-93 loss at the United Center.

Vaughn said Pekovic will be a handful tonight, and his determination around the basket is a testament to how he’s grown as a player. Fellow Montenegro native Nikola Vucevic will have the task of handling his friend Pekovic tonight. Vaughn also said he expects an offensively-efficient team from coach Rick Adelman, and the energy that Minnesota showed late in that game against Brooklyn will be a big challenge for the Magic.

Adelman said there will be no lineup changes tonight for the Wolves, meaning Luke Ridnour, Brandon Roy, Andrei Kirilenko, Derrick Williams and Pekovic should be starting here at Target Center.

Here are a few additional pregame notes for tonight’s game:

  • The Wolves trail in the series, 16-29, but have a 10-12 record at home. Orlando has won the last seven games in the series, including the last five at Target Center. Minnesota's last win at home in the series was a 103-91 victory on March 29, 2006.


  • The Wolves have failed to crack the century mark in the last seven games vs. Orlando, being outscored by an average of 109.7 - 92.6.


  • With a win tonight the Wolves will have their best record (3-1) through four games since 2001-02 (started 6-0 that season). The Wolves' comeback from 22 points down in the third quarter Monday at Brooklyn was the team's 4th-largest deficit overcome to win in franchise history, and the biggest since spotting Dallas a 24-point, 3rd-quarter advantage before coming back to win, 113-110 in OT, on Jan. 17, 1998 at Reunion Arena.


  • Andrei Kirilenko is filling the box score so far this season, averaging 14.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.67 blocks and 0.7 steals. He ranks 5th in the NBA in blocked shots and 10th in field goal percentage at 68.0% (17-for-25).


  • As a team, the Wolves rank 2nd in the league in blocked shots at 8.67 per game. In addition to Kirilenko, Greg Stiemsma is also averaging 2.67 blocks per game.


  • After recording a 62-34 advantage in points in the paint Monday at Brooklyn, the Wolves now have an average edge of 48.7 - 38.0 edge for the season.


  • The Magic ranks 5th in the NBA in scoring at 103.3 ppg. The team also ranks 8th in field goal percentage (46.6%) and 3rd in 3-point field goal percentage (48.9%) and 3rd in 3-point field goal percentage allowed (27.5%). Orlando also ranks 1st in the NBA by allowing just five steals per game.


  • Glen Davis leads Orlando in scoring (22.3 ppg) and rebounding (9.3 rpg), ranking 8th and 15th in the NBA in these categories, respectively. Meanwhile, J.J. Redick is shooting 55.6% from the floor and 57.1% from 3-point range this season. He also is averaging 6.3 assists to rank 17th in the NBA in that category.



  • For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com .