The Orlando Magic had to take it to overtime to overcome the young talent of the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-101. The Wolves roster has recent high draft picks (Andrew Wiggins – #1 pick 2014, and Carl-Anthony Townes – #1 pick 2015) as well as some seasoned veterans (Kevin Garnett, Keyshawn Prince, and Kevin Martin) to make in interesting mix of talent.
Both teams came into the game with 5-6 records and were looking to take it to a .500 record. Magic up and comer Evan Fournier is dealing with the emotions of the tragedies in his native France, plus fighting a fever that kept him from some practice time this week.
The Magic started with a good intensity on defense, however the Wolves , who are one of the top ten defensive teams in the NBA, managed to keep the Magic do 17 points and 30% shooting in the first quarter. Things continued for the rest of the half, with Minnesota taking a 50-32 lead into the locker room at the half. The Wolves were shooting almost 50% in for first half and had 6 blocked shots.
Magic head coach Scott Skyles decided to mix things up in the second half. Styles benched starter Nic Vucevic and went with a combination of Channing Frye, Deon Dedmond, Tobias Harris, Elfred Peyton, and Evan Fournier. This did the trick.
The Magic scratched and lawed their way back into the game, tying the game with 3:00 in the third quarter with key blocks and steals. The Magic managed to increase their shooting to 40% in the third.
In the thrilling fourth quarter, the Magic increased their intensity and held a 7 pt lead with 3:00 left in the fourth, but my the 2:27 mark, the lead was down to 2 points. Minnesota had the ball with 6 seconds left when Wiggins drove to the hoop to tie the game. Tobias Harris had an seemingly wide open shot within 10 feet of the basket when Karl-Anthony Townes came out of nowhere and blocked the shot, ending regulation.
In overtime, the Magic managed to take a 2 point lead with 49 sec remaining on a Elfred Peyton reverse layup, Minnesota matched on the other end, plus an and-one foul shot.
Then Came the heroics. Evan Fournier, contested by two Wolves players, stepped through them and drilled a 3 pt shot to tie the game. The Magic got a stop at the other end of the court, and Fournier put the game away with a clutch 3 point shot with 3 seconds on the clock.
The Magic’s next game is vs the Sacramento Kings on Saturday the 21st at 5 pm at the Amway Center.