NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 5th
(All times Eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (38-37) at Orlando Magic (21-55), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Timberwolves shoot for a third straight
win when they close out a tour of Florida with Saturday's matchup with the
Orlando Magic at Amway Center.
The Timberwolves have won back-to-back games after coming up short in five of
the previous seven and are coming off Friday's 122-121 double-overtime victory
against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
A full 48 minutes and overtime weren't enough to settle this one and Minnesota
squeezed by with a 13-12 scoring advantage in the second OT. Corey Brewer sank
the winning free throw with 1.8 seconds remaining and Wolves All-Star Kevin
Love posted 28 points and 11 rebounds. Love also got pressure on Heat
sharpshooter Ray Allen on a desperation attempt.
"Playing on the road and playing here is very tough," Love said. "They're
gearing up for the playoffs. Their fans are really getting into it. This was
really good for us tonight."
Chase Budinger scored 24 points off the bench and Ricky Rubio chipped in 13
and 14 assists for the Timberwolves.
Minnesota is 16-22 on the road and will start its final homestand next week
versus San Antonio, Chicago and Houston -- all playoff teams. Most of the
Wolves' last few games have come against playoff-caliber teams, including the
Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies.
Wolves guard Kevin Martin did not play against the Heat because of a sore foot
and center Nikola Pekovic is still nursing an ankle problem.
Orlando will play its next three games at home versus Minnesota, Brooklyn and
Washington, and is coming off Friday's 91-80 road loss to Charlotte.
Victor Oladipo scored 21 points off the bench, Tobias Harris added 15 and
Jameer Nelson contributed 11 points and seven assists for the Magic, losers in
three straight and 12 of the last 14 games.
"We continued to fight," said Magic coach Jacque Vaughn. "Guys stepped up and
there was great experience for some guys who don't normally get a chance to
The Magic are just 17-20 as the host this season and suffered a 120-115
overtime loss at Minnesota on Oct. 30. Love had 31 points and 17 rebounds,
including a late 3-pointer that sent the game to overtime for the Wolves, who
have won two of the last three meetings between the teams.
Orlando is still 8-2 in the past 10 games in this series and unbeaten in five
straight encounters with Minnesota at Amway Center.
04/05 10:23:30 ET