Wolves Drop Home Game to Magic
Magic 108 (26-14) - Timberwolves 99 (10-31) | Target Center
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How it happened:
Orlando blitzed the Wolves out of the locker room with a 20-7 run in the third quarter to take control and snatch a 108-99 road victory. The Magic were limited in the first half to just 4-of-13 behind the arc while Minnesota held an impressive 55-48 lead at the end of 24 minutes. Throughout the third and fourth periods, Orlando gained steam by drilling 7-of-16 long bombs and holding the Wolves to 35 percent shooting from the floor. Aside from the 33-18 lopsided third quarter, Minnesota was extremely competitive in facing one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. During that stretch, the Wolves committed nine turnovers that led to 12 Orlando points.
On a night where Michael Beasley missed his second straight game due to an ankle injury, Minnesota could not string together back-to-back victories and fell to 10-31 on the season. Four Wolves starters scored in double figures but the bench was outplayed 43-29 by Orlando, which eventually led to the nine-point defeat.
Considering Minnesota was dominated 128-86 on November 3 in Orlando, the team displayed a marked improvement in all areas without its main contributor from the perimeter.
"I was very pleased with how our guys played tonight for the vast majority of the ball game. I thought they played a very solid game mentally and physically, doing the right things, they stuck to the game plan. They did a good job controlling the pace and the tempo of the ball game. They played the way we wanted to play." -- head coach Kurt Rambis
Leader of the Pack:
Corey Brewer enjoyed his best game of the season, scoring a season-high 23 points and leading all scorers. Feeling comfortable in the starting lineup, Brewer hit 8-of-15 shots from the field and put the clamps on Hedo Turkoglu (9 points) for a majority of the contest.
The Numbers Game:
Orlando features a dominant big man at the center spot but the Wolves managed to seize control of the paint. Minnesota outscored the Magic 46-26 in the painted area despite Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic fouling out of the game. Howard finished with 21 points and nine boards.
Highlight to Remember:
It was his night and highlight to remember with a steal and coast-to-coast to one-handed flush at the 3:43 mark of the third period. Brewer intelligently attacked Gilbert Arenas when he curled around a Howard pick. The Wolves shooting guard took advantage of a slight mishandling of the round ball and cruised to the rack for an easy bucket.
Pekovic was solid on Howard from a defensive standpoint and chipped in eight points and six boards in 17 minutes of action off the bench. Wes Johnson started for Beasley and posted four points in the loss.
The Wolves practice tomorrow in Minneapolis before jetting northwest for a matchup against Portland on Monday night. With only two games next week, Minnesota travels to Los Angeles to face the Clippers in a Wednesday night contest.
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