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Timberwolves run past Magic 123-107

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Last week the Orlando Magic showed sure signs they were coming together as a team after an ugly start. After Wednesday’s ugly 123-107 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Amway Center, the momentum of a three-game winning streak is now a distant memory.

After Monday’s blowout loss in Chicago, the Magic were set to get back on track at home against a team that was 1-5 overall and winless on the road. Minnesota looked as though they felt quite at home on Wednesday.

They jumped out early and never looked back. The Timberwolves led by 22 points after the first quarter and by 74-47 at halftime.

Orlando was a step or two slow, but the Timberwolves also shot well when their jump shots were contested. Minnesota shot 51 percent from the field, including 57 percent from three-point range.

That is a recipe for victory.

“It’s frustrating because we are losing by big margins, especially because we are not playing the right way and doing what we are supposed to be doing,” said center Nikola Vucevic. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. It is not fun right now. There are still a lot of games to be played, but we have to figure it out quickly.”

Going in, things lined up well for the Magic. Not only were they playing a team winless on the road, but Minnesota was playing the second game of a back-to-back.

The Timberwolves played in Brooklyn the night before and arrived in Orlando in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Despite that fact, Minnesota looked to be the fresher of the two teams despite the Magic having Tuesday night off.

The Magic had no answer for Andrew Wiggins, who had 29 points and dished out six assists.  Karl-Anthony Towns added 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Vucevic had a strong second half to finish with 24 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Magic. Elfrid Payton added 18 points and seven assists.

Orlando fell to 3-5 on the season and only 2-2 at home. Next up is the Utah Jazz, who come to the Amway Center on Friday night.

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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 Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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