Orlando Magic fall in overtime to Timberwolves
After dropping their first game of the season in Indiana on Tuesday night, the Magic battled on a back-to-back in Minnesota before falling 120-115 in overtime. Despite trailing by as much as 17 points early in the game, Orlando figured out a defensive game plan and scrapped their way back into the game.
The Magic finally took the lead on Nik Vucevic dunk with 3:46 left in the 4th quarter. The next few minutes saw the lead going back and forth, with neither team appearing to be interested in winning the game. A Ricky Rubio turnover led to an Arron Afflalo fastbreak layup which gave the Magic a one point lead with 24 seconds remaining.
Two Victor Oladipo layups pushed the lead to three, with just 12 seconds remaining and it looked like Orlando would secure their first win of the season. Not so fast my friend! Poor defense on the impending in-bounds pass allowed Kevin Love to knock down a wide open three.
Arron Afflalo, in a poorly designed and/or executed final possession, missed a fade away jump shot has time expired and sent the game to overtime.
In overtime, the better team imposed their will and Minnesota sent the Magic regressing back to the mean, and went home victorious.
Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 28 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, while Nik Vucevic had 22 and 16. Jameer Nelson put up 18 points and 8 assists. Afflalo had a shaky first half, before exploding in the 3rd quarter and showing why he is the top-scorer on this team. It was positive to see both Nelson and Afflalo step up and show the veteran leadership that lacking at the end of last season.
Kevin Love had 31 points and 17 rebounds for Minnesota, while Kevin Martin scored 23. Overall, the Timberwolves had seven players score in double figures.
Quick, random thoughts:
- Victor Oladipo had a solid second game and it appears that he will be in the crunch-time, closing lineup throughout the season – replacing the role that J.J. Redick played last season. Oladipo finished the night with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 dunk that made you go “oooooohhhhh”.
- Maurice Harkless was invisible tonight and was banished to the bench after his first substitution in the second half. After seeming to make a huge confidence jump late last season, his shot has been off and he hasn’t really been able to get involved so far. It will be important for Harkless to bounce back strong and keep his aggression up on both ends of the floor.
- Andrew Nicholson once again was a scoring machine and when the team was struggling early, he seemed like the only guy you could go to for a bucket. He finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds in just 19 minutes, after Jacque Vaughn stuck with Solomon Jones through the closure of the game and overtime.
- Please don’t let this season be about Solomon Jones playing 15 straight crunch time minutes. Please.
- The key to the Wolves making a leap into the playoffs this season will have to come from one of their young bench players making an impact. They just don’t have enough depth at this point to jump ahead of teams in the West.
- Moral victory!