Snapping a two-game losing streak, the Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves by the score of 108-99. The Magic were led by a balanced attack, as five players scored in double-figures. Dwight Howard paved the way in the win, finishing with 16 points, nine rebounds, and three steals. Jason Richardson and J.J. Redick each had 21 points. Ryan Anderson was stellar off the bench, contributing with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and two steals. Brandon Bass chipped in with 10 points, though it’s important to note that he’s been struggling with his jumpshot lately. That’s something to keep an eye on, given that Orlando has an important matchup with the Boston Celtics on Monday.
There’s not a lot to talk about with this victory.
Maybe it’s because the Magic were playing the Timberwolves or looking ahead to their game against the Celtics, but they played with little energy and effort in the first half. Orlando trailed by five points at halftime and it seemed like they were well on their way to putting the finishing touches on an embarrassing loss. Fortunately for the Magic, they woke up in the third quarter and were able to take control of the game fairly quickly.
Richardson was the catalyst for Orlando’s comeback, knocking down a few threes in transition. Also, Richardon had a highlight-reel play when Jameer Nelson was able to link up with him on a fast break for an alley-oop dunk that drew “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd. It was an impressive display from Richardson on offense and it further cemented the idea that he’s become the No. 2 option for the Magic, given that Howard is the centerpiece offensively. There’s a number of reasons that Orlando won the third quarter by 15 points, including the fact that Minnesota had nine turnovers in the period that jumpstarted their offense.
But Richardson scoring 13 of his 21 points in the quarter was a big one.
And that’s it.
Once the Magic took the lead, they tried hard to put the Timberwolves away.
Yet Minnesota keep fighting until the very end — credit to them for not giving up.