Magic Fall to Timberwolves in Last Home Game of Season

by Josh Cohen

The Lead

The first meeting between the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves this season ended in dramatic fashion when Cole Anthony drilled a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. The second and final meeting, which took place on Sunday in the Magic's final home game of the year, was a blowout. The Timberwolves, behind their Big Three of Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards, cruised to a 128-96 victory.

Top Performer

Dwayne Bacon, the only Magic player this year who has appeared in every game, posted 18 points, three rebounds and two assists. The 6-foot-6, 221-pounder signed with Orlando last fall largely because of his comfort playing for Steve Clifford, his coach during his rookie campaign in Charlotte. That turned out to be a great decision, as the four-year pro is averaging career highs in points and rebounds.

Rookie Watch

R.J. Hampton, acquired in a trade deadline deal from Denver in late March, scored a career-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 2-of-4 from 3-point distance. He has now scored in double figures in 13 games since joining the Magic, including the last six. The 6-foot-4, 175-pounder possesses some very intriguing qualities, including blazing speed and offensive creativity. He also has the physical tools to transform into a very good defender.

Player Spotlight

Markelle Fultz talked about his rehab process with David Steele and Jeff Turner while serving as a guest analyst on Bally Sports Florida during the second quarter of Sunday’s game. He is very optimistic about the direction of the franchise and is looking forward to playing with the other young players on the roster once he’s back to 100 percent. WATCH HERE

Injury Report

Wendell Carter Jr. (left eye abrasion), Michael Carter-Williams (sprained left ankle), James Ennis III (sore right calf), Fultz (torn ACL, left knee), Jonathan Isaac (left knee rehabilitation), Chuma Okeke (sprained left ankle), Otto Porter Jr. (left foot pain), and Terrence Ross (back spasms) were out for the Magic. Unavailable for Minnesota were Malik Beasley (left hamstring injury), Jarrett Culver (right ankle surgery), and Jaden McDaniels (personal reasons).

The Sidebar

On Sunday, the Magic brought back Donta Hall, previously with the team on a pair of 10-day contracts. The Magic were granted a hardship exception by the NBA in order to add Hall, who in his first stint with the team from April 13 to May 2 averaged 3.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in eight games. He had seven points and eight rebounds in Sunday’s loss.

Quote of the Night

“I think it was mostly lack of effort, not coming prepared as a whole unit. We just got to be more aggressive. They hit us in the mouth first and we didn’t do anything about it.” – Hampton

Up Next

The Magic will head out on the road for a four-game trip to conclude their season, starting with a visit to Milwaukee where they will face the Bucks on Tuesday at 9 p.m. The Bucks, winners of five straight, are currently in third place in the East, just a half-game back of the Brooklyn Nets for second. Should they finish tied, the Bucks own the head-to-head tiebreaker having recently won back-to-back games against the Nets.

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