Preview: Orlando At Minnesota
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Orlando Magic have moved above .500 and seek their fourth consecutive victory when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. The Magic are also looking to defeat the Timberwolves for the fifth straight time as they posted a 104-101 overtime win over Minnesota on Nov. 18.
Orlando’s mini-run has increased its record to 9-8 – the franchise’s best 17-game start since Dwight Howard lead the team to a 12-5 mark in 2011-12. “We’re playing with a lot more energy, focusing on a lot of the little details, especially defensively,” forward Tobias Harris said after Sunday’s 110-91 victory over the Boston Celtics. “We’re just letting our defense dictate our offense. I think that’s been the biggest difference.” Minnesota had a three-game winning streak halted with a 107-99 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. The Timberwolves are just 2-6 at home – they lost their first six – as they open a four-game homestand.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), FSN North (Minnesota)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (9-8): Third-year guard Victor Oladipo was moved to the bench three games ago and has averaged 20 points during Orlando’s winning streak. Since the move, the Magic are averaging 108 points with an average winning margin of 17.3 points and have played much more cohesive as a unit. “We got to stick with what works,” Orlando coach Scott Skiles said after Sunday’s win. “He has been so good in that role. We’ll keep him out there until it doesn’t work.”
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (8-9): Top overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns emerged from a personal three-game funk to have 17 points and eight rebounds in the loss to the Clippers. Towns averaged 6.3 points and 5.3 rebounds during Minnesota’s three-game winning streak and his minutes were reduced to an average of 20.7. The 20-year-old center has gone five consecutive games without a double-double after producing eight in his first 12 NBA contests.
1. The Magic have won 12 of the last 14 meetings.
2. Minnesota PG Ricky Rubio (ankle) could return after a two-game absence.
3. Orlando PG Elfrid Payton was 2-of-12 shooting against Boston one game after going 10-of-12 versus Milwaukee.
PREDICTION: Timberwolves 105, Magic 99