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Magic hang on to defeat Timberwolves

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The Orlando Magic let a 17-point lead get away, but made the big shots at the end, picking up an important road win Tuesday night, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 96-93. Orlando swept the two-game season series with Minnesota.

Orlando was in control for most of the game, jumping out to a 21-14 led at the end of the first quarter. When Tobias Harris nailed a three-pointer with 2:14 left in the first half, the Magic had a 48-33 lead. It was 54-41 at halftime.

The Orlando lead was 17 on another Harris basket with 5:20 left in the third when Minnesota began the slow climb back into the game. It was 76-67 entering the fourth quarter.

With 4:37 left, Andrew Wiggins connected for Minnesota, tying the game at 87. Andrew Nicholson responded for Orlando, giving them the lead. With 2:17 left, Victor Oladipo hit a huge three-pointer to give the Magic a 5-point lead, 92-87.

With the lead at one, Nicholson hit two free throws with three seconds left to provide the final margin. A desperation three-point shot by Wiggins was far short at the buzzer, sending 10.694 unhappy fans home from the Target Center.

Six Magic players scored in double figures, led by Nikola Vucevic with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Nicholson had 15 and Harris scored 13, as did Oladipo off the bench.

Wiggins led the Timberwolves with 27 points while Kevin Martin added 16. Orlando held Minnesota to 38 percent shooting, while the Magic shot 44 percent.

Orlando is now 10-8 on the season and are winners of four games in a row. They continue their five-game swing through the Western Conference on Thursday when the face the Utah Jazz.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at

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