Mo Bamba recorded 27 points and 12 rebounds and Wendell Carter Jr. tallied 20 points and 10 rebounds to become the first Magic duo since Dec. 30, 2018 to have 20-10 performances in the same game, as Orlando overcame an 18-point first-half deficit to end the Minnesota Timberwolves’ six-game winning streak with a 118-110 victory at Amway Center.
Bamba made the game’s two biggest shots. First, with 1:05 left, the 7-footer drilled a left corner 3-pointer to extend the Magic’s lead to six. On Orlando’s ensuing possession, he slammed home an alley-oop dunk off a feed from Carter. The Magic were locked in defensively throughout the final frame, holding the Timberwolves to just 7-of-26 shooting overall and 0-of-15 from 3-point range.
The Magic racked up 31 assists, tied for their fourth most this season. They also took 12 more free throws than the Timberwolves, one of the league’s best at getting to the stripe. The 110 points scored by Minnesota was their lowest total since Feb. 25 and third lowest since Jan. 25. The Magic have the NBA’s best defensive rating since the All-Star break.
Quote of the Night
“I knew that I would be able to play with Wendell since high school…The NBA is very different. There is more spacing involved. The physicality goes up. You kind of have to re-learn things, but it’s great to see us kind of work hand in hand and who’s rolling, who’s popping, who’s doing this, who’s doing that. I think defensively we are doing a great job, too.” – Bamba
Jonathan Isaac (left knee) and Bol Bol (foot) were out for Orlando. Jordan McLaughlin was unavailable for Minnesota. Patrick Beverley left the game after playing just four minutes because of an ear contusion.
This Day in History
Shaquille O’Neal posted 28 points and 21 rebounds, one of 15 20-20 games he had with the Magic, while Penny Hardaway and Nick Anderson each scored 21 points in Orlando’s victory over Philadelphia on March 11, 1994. Jeff Malone led the Sixers with 26 points, while Clarence Weatherspoon had 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Is everyone sleeping on the Timberwolves? If they make the playoffs, which they should with how well they had been playing before Friday’s loss, they could be a dangerous opponent for any of the West’s higher seeds in the opening round. There isn’t much they don’t do well offensively, ranking No. 1 in both points and 3-pointers made, third in offensive rebounding, and eighth in free throw attempts. Also, why isn’t Karl-Anthony Towns being mentioned in the MVP race? He’s on pace to become the first center in NBA history in a season to shoot over 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range with a minimum of 200 attempts, and 80 percent from the free throw line.
The Magic’s six-game homestand continues when they host Joel Embiid, James Harden, and the rest of the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday at 6 p.m. The Sixers will be looking for the season sweep after winning the first three meetings, including on Jan. 19 when Embiid matched his career high with 50 points. Bamba set a new career high in scoring that night with 32 points on 12-of-15 overall shooting and 7-of-8 3-point shooting.