NBA Basketball
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112
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Minnesota 31 27 27 27 112
Orlando 32 39 31 20 122
122
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CT22:00 , February 7, 2019
Amway Center, Orlando, Florida  Attendance: 17,184

Wolves visit Magic as both seek spark

According to STATS
According to STATS

Minnesota Timberwolves at Orlando Magic

  1. The home team has won the last four meetings between these teams with the Timberwolves winning the first matchup this season, 120-103, in Minneapolis on January 4. Orlando is 9-1 at home against Minnesota since the 2008-09 season, its second-best record against any opponent since then (LAL, 10-1).
  2. The Timberwolves narrowly fell to the Grizzlies in Memphis on Tuesday, 108-106, after trailing by 13 points at the end of the first quarter. Minnesota is 2-13 on the road this season when it has trailed after the first quarter, the fourth-worst record in the NBA in such games.
  3. The Magic lost to the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, 132-122, preventing them from a third consecutive win. Orlando has had just one three-game winning streak this season (November 14 -- 18), one of five teams with only one such streak (Chicago and Cleveland have zero).
  4. Dario Saric had 22 points and five assists off the bench in the loss to the Grizzlies, his highest of each stat since being traded to Minnesota on November 12. Saric is shooting 36.8 percent from three-point range with the T'Wolves after shooting 30.0 percent with the Sixers this season before the trade.
  5. Aaron Gordon had a career-high 10 assists to go with 18 points in the loss to the Thunder, the fourth Magic player to have a 10-assist double-double this season (Nikola Vucevic, D.J. Augustin and Evan Fournier). Gordon is averaging 3.6 assists per game in 2018-19, 1.3 more than he averaged last season.
  6. Karl-Anthony Towns has 6518 career points and 3525 career rebounds through 299 games. The last player to have 6500-plus points and 3500-plus rebounds through his first 300 career games was Tim Duncan (6640 points and 3624 rebounds; 300th game was on November 24, 2001).

Two teams that have been tail-spinning into oblivion in their respective playoff races hope to use each other as a springboard back into contention when the Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Orlando Magic on Thursday night.

Neither the Timberwolves (25-28) nor Magic (22-32) would make the playoffs if they began today, and each has a lot of ground to make up with fewer than 30 games remaining in the regular season.

Minnesota won the first meeting between the two, 120-103 at home in January, with Karl-Anthony Towns (29 points, 15 rebounds), Taj Gibson (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Jeff Teague (23 points, 10 assists) all recording double-doubles.

It's unlikely the Magic will see Teague this time around, either because he's still unable to play because of a sore right foot or because he's been dealt at the trade deadline. The Timberwolves have been rumored to be shopping Teague, who has a player option on a $19 million contract for next season.

The fact that reserve Dario Saric played what Towns labeled "his best game of the year" Tuesday at Memphis could make Teague even more expendable.

"Sad enough we had to waste it," Towns insisted to reporters after Saric contributed 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists to the 108-106 loss. "He came out, he was on fire, played amazing, gave us some lift and gave us a chance to win this game."

With or without Teague, the Timberwolves, who have lost two straight and four of five, might have a tough time leaving the Memphis loss in their rear-view mirror. The defeat was the result of a foul called on Josh Okogie with one-tenth of a second remaining in a tie game.

One advantage the Timberwolves would seem to have in the game is the matchup between All-Star centers Towns and Nikola Vucevic. Towns has outscored his rival 70-46 in their last three head-to-heads, with the Timberwolves winning all three.

The Magic have lost five of their last seven games, but it's hard to blame Vucevic. He's recorded double-doubles in six of his last eight outings, missing double-doubles in the other two by one rebound in each.

It's possible the Magic could go into the game with even less of a supporting cast for Vucevic than the one that participated in Tuesday's 132-122 loss at Oklahoma City.

High-scoring reserve Terrence Ross has been rumored to be on several contenders' wish lists at the trade deadline, something with which he has become quite aware.

"As players you don't have any say-so, so there's no point in like stressing about it," Ross told reporters Tuesday night. "You're going to get an opportunity to play. You're going to have to go out there and do what you do regardless, because whether you get traded or not, you're on that team to do a specific job.

"Regardless of if you get traded to a team that needs what you do, or if you stay with the team that needs what you do, you've got to do it at the end of the day. That's what it's all about."

Ross has scored in double figures off the bench in 13 of his last 15 games. He had 13 points, including three 3-pointers, in the loss at Minnesota last month.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 6, 2019

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