Five players ejected following third-quarter altercation, including Magic’s Mo Bamba and Jalen Suggs
Cole Anthony led seven Orlando players in double figures with 20 points to go along with tallying seven rebounds and six assists, Moe Wagner scored 19 points and Markelle Fultz had 15, as the Orlando Magic held off a late rally by the Minnesota Timberwolves in Friday’s 127-120 victory at the Target Center.
The Magic’s Mo Bamba and Jalen Suggs and the Timberwolves’ Austin Rivers, Jaden McDaniels, and Taurean Prince were ejected with 1:32 remaining in the third quarter following a physical altercation that started with Bamba and Rivers exchanging punches right near Orlando’s bench.
After a pair of D’Angelo Russell buckets pulled Minnesota within eight just past the halfway point of the third quarter, Orlando reclaimed momentum with seven unanswered points. Jonathan Isaac had five of them – an AND-1 putback and a step-back fadeaway – and Fultz scored the other two off a putback layup.
The Magic’s reserves totaled 72 points. As a team, Orlando outscored the T-Wolves by 12 in the paint, and while Minnesota made four more 3-pointers, Orlando shot a much better percentage from beyond the arc (52.2 percent for the Magic and 36.4 percent for the Wolves). Through the first three quarters, the Magic had limited the Wolves to 40 percent shooting from the floor and 28.6 percent shooting from 3-point land.
Wendell Carter Jr. (right foot plantar fascia strain) and Chuma Okeke (left knee injury recovery) were out for the Magic. Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) and Jordan McLaughlin (calf) were unavailable for the T-Wolves.
In the News
On Thursday, Suggs’ high school, Minnehaha Academy, retired both his basketball and football jerseys during a special ceremony prior to the school’s varsity basketball game. Joining the 6-foot-5 guard to celebrate the occasion were family, friends, all his Magic teammates and coaches, other staff from the team’s traveling party, and hundreds of his beloved supporters from the local community.
Quote of the Day
“I thought it was great. That’s just a young kid who has done so much for that high school (and) for the city. The great thing about it was when he thanked everyone that was a part of what he had done. The first thing he did was give credit to all those people that had helped him from the sixth grade on.” – Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley on attending Suggs’ high school retirement ceremony
This Day in History
Bo Outlaw, now a Magic Community Ambassador and occasional television pregame and postgame analyst for the team, was known mostly for his defense and hustle. But on Feb. 3, 1998 against the Atlanta Hawks, his made Orlando’s biggest shot. Then in just his first year with the Magic, Outlaw connected on a game-winning shot in the final seconds to lift Orlando to a thrilling victory. Outlaw finished with 23 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Magic. Steve Smith posted 10 points for Atlanta.
Since Jan. 1, the T-Wolves have the league’s second-best defensive rating, and that’s with their defensive anchor, Rudy Gobert, missing a handful of games. We’ll learn more about what Minnesota is when Towns returns, whenever that may be. For them to make a deep playoff run, he and Gobert are going to have to play well together. Not a surprise is Anthony Edwards’ extraordinary play of late. The ultra-talented guard has rebounded from a sluggish start, at least for his standards. Coming into Friday’s action, he was averaging nearly 32 points over his previous eight games.
The Magic will wrap up this four-game road trip on Sunday with an afternoon contest against Southeast Division foe Charlotte at 1 p.m. This will be the third of four meetings this season between the Magic and Hornets, with the first two having been played in Orlando. The Magic blew out the Hornets on Oct. 28 behind 21 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists from Paolo Banchero. The Hornets evened up the season series on Nov. 14 behind 18 points from Mason Plumlee and 17 each from LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier. Franz Wagner, meanwhile, had 23 points to lead six Orlando players in double figures in scoring.