NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Orlando 40 28 17 18 103
Minnesota 31 33 31 25 120
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:� , January 4, 2019
Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota  Attendance: 14,355

Magic-Timberwolves Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Orlando Magic at Minnesota Timberwolves

  1. The Magic are 36-21 (.632) all-time against the Timberwolves, their second-best record against any opponent behind their 76-37 (.673) mark against the 76ers.
  2. The Magic lost to the Hornets by 25 points (125-100) before rebounding to beat the Bulls by 28 points (112-84) in their last game. It's only the second time in franchise history Orlando has followed up a 25+ point loss with a 25+ point win (also did so on October 29 and November 3, 2010).
  3. Nikola Vucevic is the only NBA player leading his team in points, rebounds and steals this season. The only Magic player ever to lead the team in all three categories in a season is Dwight Howard (2010-11 and 2011-12).
  4. The Wolves have notched at least 50 points in the paint in each of their last five games. Since points in the paint were first tracked in 2000-01, only once has Minnesota had a longer streak (seven straight from March 2-20, 2018).
  5. Robert Covington has notched 121 defensive stops this season (blocks plus steals), second most in the NBA behind Anthony Davis (148).
  6. Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging 28.2 points, 17.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists over his last five games. Since 1985-86, the only other players to average 28/17/5 over a five-game span within a single season are Charles Barkley (March 1987) and DeMarcus Cousins (March/April 2015).

The Minnesota Timberwolves have one of the hottest players on the planet heading into Friday's home game against the Orlando Magic.

Karl-Anthony Towns, a versatile 7-foot center, is averaging 28.2 points, 17.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 3.0 blocks in the past five games. The 23-year-old is shooting 53.1 percent from the field and 47.4 percent from beyond the 3-point line (9 of 19) during that stretch.

"He's scoring in a lot of different ways," said Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau. "He's doing a lot better job of moving when he kicks the ball out too so he's getting a second and third opportunity. He's making multiple efforts on both sides of the ball now."

Towns had 28 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in Wednesday's 115-102 loss in Boston. The Magic, meanwhile, were putting together one of their most complete offensive performances of the season. The return of point guard D.J. Augustin had something to do with that.

The sprained ankle that kept him out Monday's 25-point loss in Charlotte was healed enough for Augustin to contribute 10 points and six assists in 25 minutes off the bench in Wednesday's 112-84 rout of the Chicago Bulls.

Augustin's ankle might not be 100 percent for Friday's game, but he helped Orlando shoot 57.9 percent against the Bulls, as the Magic racked up 31 assists on 44 made baskets. Inasmuch as backup point guard Jonathon Simmons has missed two games with an ankle injury, the Magic need the steady hand of the 11th-year pro as much as ever.

"I just take pride in being on the floor and playing the right way," Augustin said. "Taking good shots and controlling the game -- those are the types of things I take pride in," Augustin said. "I don't really pay attention to the other things, but I take pride in doing what I can to help my team."

This will be the first meeting of the season between Minnesota (17-21) and Orlando (17-20).

Even with Towns and Andrew Wiggins (season-high 31 points Wednesday night), the Wolves haven't had enough help recently. Point guard Jeff Teague has missed nine games, Derrick Rose three and Robert Covington one -- all because of ankle injuries.

Teague was upgraded from doubtful to questionable for Wednesday's game but did not play.

Orlando averages just 103.6 points per game, which ranked 27th in the NBA heading into Thursday night's games, but has reached triple digits in five consecutive games, its best such stretch of the season since doing it in six consecutive games in November.

Center Nikola Vucevic is averaging 23.8 points and 11.8 rebounds. Forward Aaron Gordon is averaging 15.4 and 7.6. He had 18 points, nine assists and seven rebounds Wednesday night.

This will be the third game of a six-game road trip for Orlando, which will play three games in four days starting Sunday with the Los Angeles Clippers, followed by Sacramento a day later and then Utah.

"It's good, but the next four games are going to be hard," said wing Evan Fournier. "With all of the traveling and games, it's going to be tough, but (Wednesday) was a really good game for us and it gives us confidence for the rest of the trip. We just have to keep playing this way."

Updated January 3, 2019

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