NBA Basketball
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118
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Orlando 35 27 18 38 118
Minnesota 30 35 41 18 124
124
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CTNaN:� , November 22, 2017
Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota  Attendance: 16,402

Magic-Timberwolves Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Orlando Magic at Minnesota Timberwolves

  1. After starting the season winning eight of its first 12 games, the Magic have now dropped five in row, including a 105-97 loss to the Pacers on Monday. The Magic's three-point percentage has dropped from .410 before the losing streak to just 38.6 percent now.
  2. The Timberwolves lost in Charlotte, 118-102, on Monday thanks to 41.1 percent shooting from the floor and 6-for-27 from downtown (22.2 percent). Minnesota is just 1-4 on the season when making six three-pointers or fewer.
  3. Minnesota won both matchups with the Magic last season after dropping the previous four straight games against Orlando in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Three of the six matchups between these teams went to overtime including the most recent game where the Timberwolves defeated the Magic 111-105 at the Target Center.
  4. For the third consecutive season, Karl-Anthony Towns has increased his free-throw percentage and is now shooting 85.7 percent from the line this season. Towns' career free-throw percentage of 82.7 percent is the third highest of any player that also has a career rebounding average of 10 rebounds or more: Larry Bird (.886) and Dolph Schayes (.849).
  5. Nikola Vucevic is averaging 1.8 three pointers per game this season and has 31 total on the season. In the six previous years of his career he had a combined 30 total made three-pointers.
  6. Jamal Crawford had 19 points off the bench for Minnesota in the team's loss to Charlotte on Monday. This was his eighth double-digit game as a reserve this season and the 193rd time he's done so since the 2013-14 season, second-most in the NBA over that span (Lou Williams, 198).

MINNEAPOLIS -- Playing the second night of a back-to-back after traveling, the Minnesota Timberwolves faded Monday as the Charlotte Hornets used a 34-22 fourth quarter to turn pull away for a 16-point win.

Fourth quarters haven't been kind to Minnesota in back-to-backs. Losses have also lingered into the next game early this season for the Timberwolves, who return to action Wednesday against the visiting Orlando Magic.

"You know, I thought the rebounding got us probably more than anything," Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said of the Monday loss. "A four-point game going into the fourth, and you've got to be at your best in the fourth, and the last two nights we haven't been."

The Timberwolves (10-7) have looked like one of the Western Conference's best teams at times this season. They also have lost consecutive games three times, twice in back-to-back situations.

Unfortunately for the Magic , who have lost five consecutive games, Minnesota has a day off before hosting Orlando (8-9) on Wednesday. The Wolves have not had a three-game losing streak this season.

"Nobody's happy with how we're playing now," Magic coach Frank Vogel said after his team's 105-97 home loss to the Indiana Pacers on Monday. "We know we have to dig ourselves out of a rut here."

While Minnesota's ruts have been shallow and short, Vogel is trying to keep the Magic on the right track as they begin a four-game road trip.

Vogel told the team's website of his attempts to boost the players' morale.

"That's a big part of the job, especially in times like this," Vogel said. "We're doing the right thing -- keeping our guys confident, keeping them moving in the right direction and keeping them understanding that winning is hard in this league, especially when you haven't done it as a group. Thankfully, we built a little bit of a cushion early in the season and now we've got to keep our heads above water in this tough stretch of the schedule."

The Magic's homestand-ending loss to Indiana was disappointing after Aaron Gordon closed the gap to three points with 49 seconds remaining. Orlando was outscored 7-2 the rest of the way as the Pacers hit a 3-pointer and four consecutive free throws.

Center Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 25 points and 13 rebounds, and he hit 3 of 6 from 3-point territory.

"We went away in the second half from what was working for us," Vucevic said. "We lost our rhythm and started over-dribbling. We just got too stagnant. I don't know why."

Minnesota can commiserate as far as temporary slumps are concerned. The Wolves lost back-to-back games earlier this season without Jimmy Butler in the lineup, but the past two sets of losses might be more concerning.

A 24-point defeat at Golden State was followed by a loss to the Phoenix Suns. Minnesota fell 100-97 at home against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday before the defeat Monday, the Timberwolves' third game in four days.

"It was tough," said Minnesota reserve guard Jamal Crawford, who scored a team-high 19 points at Charlotte. "You don't ever want to make excuses, and obviously we have work to do and we're still a work in progress. We're a long way from being where we will be. But I think that's a good thing. We have something to work toward."

Vucevic likely will match up with the reigning Western Conference player of the week, Karl-Anthony Towns. The Minnesota center had 18 points and 12 rebounds in the Monday loss. Jeff Teague scored 18 points and Butler added 14.

Four players are averaging double figures for the Wolves this season, led by Towns at 20.6 points per game.

"I don't think we can keep a scorecard," Crawford told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "When you're playing without an agenda, some nights will be some guys' night and some nights will be other guys' nights."

Evan Fournier leads the Magic at 19.0 points per game.

Orlando rookie forward Jonathan Isaac has missed four consecutive games with a sprained right ankle, and he might not be able to return Wednesday.

Updated November 22, 2017

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