NBA Basketball
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Orlando 25 10 33 29 97
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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 CT23:00 , January 20, 2021
Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Magic, Timberwolves meet in matchup of struggling teams

According to STATS
According to STATS

Orlando Magic at Minnesota Timberwolves

  1. Orlando has won three straight games against Minnesota. All three wins were by double digits, with the Magic averaging 130.0 points and shooting 56.2 percent as a team over these three games.
  2. The Magic scored a season-low 84 points in losing to the Knicks on Monday (91-84) and have now been held under 100 points six times since the New Year, one shy of the Cavaliers for most in the NBA.
  3. Minnesota lost to Atlanta by 11 on Monday and is being outscored by its opponents by 10.2 ppg this season, the worst mark in the NBA. Minnesota has lost nine of its last 10 since starting the season 2-0.
  4. Malik Beasley is shooting 54.6 percent from the field at home this season, compared to 31.8 percent from the field on the road, by far the largest differential in the NBA (minimum 75 FGA each split).
  5. D'Angelo Russell made six threes and had four steals on Monday, the first Timberwolves player to meet both of those marks in a game in franchise history. The only other NBA player to do so this season was Orlando's Nikola Vucevic (January 16 at Brooklyn).
  6. Aaron Gordon had a career-high 17 rebounds on Monday and was one assist shy of his second career triple-double. He's just the second player to have at least 17 rebounds and nine assists in a game this season, joining the Knicks' Julius Randle (January 4 at Atlanta).

Minnesota and Orlando both are aiming to pull out of their funks Wednesday night in their matchup at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Minnesota suffered its ninth loss in the past 10 games Monday, 108-97 to Atlanta. The game marked the Timberwolves' third without two-time All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns, who tweeted Jan. 15 that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Towns will be out at least until Jan. 25. His absence from the lineup impedes a defense already surrendering an average of 117.8 points per game, one of the highest yields in the NBA.

"We had some miscommunication defensively," Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders said in his postgame press conference Monday. "But it's just about keep working to stay together, and we don't have a group that's splintering or anything."

In its three games without Towns, Minnesota allowed 108 and 118 points in losses to Atlanta and Memphis, respectively, but held San Antonio to 88 in the Timberwolves' lone win in their past 10 games. It is the only time this season the T-Wolves have given up fewer than 100 points.

On Wednesday, Minnesota will face an Orlando team struggling offensively. On Monday, the Magic lost their sixth straight game, 91-84 to New York. It marked the fifth time during their current slide that they failed to reach 100 points.

Orlando is dealing with a rash of injuries and absences. The team opened the season without Al-Farouq Aminu and Jonathan Isaac, both of whom suffered knee injuries. Isaac will not return this season.

Point guard Markelle Fultz also was lost for the season due to a knee injury sustained Jan. 6, the date of Orlando's most recent win.

The 84 points scored in New York on Monday marked a season low on an afternoon the Magic were also without Mo Bamba, Michael Carter-Williams and Evan Fournier, all of whom are listed as day-to-day because of injuries or the NBA's health and safety protocol.

"When the ball's not going in the basket, we've still got to play defense," forward Aaron Gordon said in Monday's postgame press conference. "We're learning how important it is, every game, to not give possessions away."

Minnesota is shooting just 33.3 percent from 3-point range this season. D'Angelo Russell tops the team in that category at 39.8 percent.

Russell scored 31 points in Monday's loss to Atlanta. Malik Beasley had 15 points -- five below his season average -- and hit only 5 of 17 field-goal attempts.

"Still trying to figure it out," Beasley said. "Got to put in the work, maybe get in more reps, just try to figure it out. I'm not worried about it."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 19, 2021

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