Magic defeat T’Wolves, record third consecutive victory

ORLANDO –  Glen Davis raked in 28 points and five rebounds for the Orlando Magic as they defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 102-93, for their third straight win on Monday, Dec. 17, at the Amway Center.

Davis, who played with four fouls during the entire fourth quarter, led all scorers with his 28 points.

Kevin Love led all Minnesota scorers with 23 points and added 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves in his first game back at the Amway Center since All-Star Weekend when he won the three-point contest.

Maurice Harkless hit a three-pointer for the Magic to start the game, but Minnesota (12-10) would go on a 7-0 run, putting Orlando down 7-3 early in the first quarter. The Magic would finish the quarter on a 10-0 run, which cut the Timberwolves lead to 29-27 entering the second quarter.

Minnesota led for most of the second quarter, until Glen Davis gave Orlando its second lead of the night on a jump shot with 4:47 left in the first half.

The lead wouldn’t last long for the Magic, as Andrei Kirilenko made two free throws on the next Timberwolves possession to make the score 43-42.

Orlando went into the locker room at halftime trailing 61-49. J.J. Redick was the Magic’s leading bench scorer with 11 points during the first half.

“I didn’t like the way we played in the first half, I don’t think anyone on our team did,” said Magic guard J.J. Redick. “It was one of those things where you get into the trap of you’re scoring points and you’re not playing defense.”

Both teams went back and forth for much of the third quarter, before Orlando went on a 6-0 run to cut Minnesota’s lead to single digits with 6:15 minutes left in the third quarter. Glen Davis accounted for all six points on the run.

“He came out and the emotion was used in a positive nature,” said Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn on Davis’s play. “His attack to the rim, his defensive energy, grabbing rebounds was great to see.”

“It was great for him to make that adjustment at halftime and be able to lead us in the second half,” added Vaughn.

E’Twaun Moore hit a three with .35 seconds remaining in the third quarter to tie the game at 74-74 before Dante Cunningham made back-to-back baskets to give Minnesota a 78-74 lead going into the final quarter of regulation.

The Magic started the fourth quarter on a 4-0 run to tie the game at 78-78, but Minnesota would take the lead back with 9:39 remaining in regulation thanks to a Derrick Williams jumper.

Arron Afflalo gave the Magic an 88-87 lead with 5:42 left to play in the game when he hit his second three-pointer of the night.

Orlando finished the game on a 14-6 run, as they improved their record to (11-13) with the win over the Timberwolves.

“They got confidence and they started running out on us,” said Timberwolves forward Kevin Love about Orlando’s second half. “When you get confidence like that, especially down the stretch of a game like that, it is tough to be stopped.”

“They got all the bounces that went their way and it was a tale of two halves,” added Love.

The win puts the Magic on a three-game winning streak, which marks their longest of the season.

“I’m pleased in the improvements that we have made individually and as a team,” said Vaughn following the game.

“Each game that we go into we have a good spirit about ourselves, a good feel about each other, that we believe in each other and we will continue to play for 48 minutes.”

Orlando’s next game is Wednesday, Dec. 19, at home against the (3-18) Washington Wizards, who sit at the bottom of the NBA standings.

“You know, to get to .500, we have to take one game at a time,” said Magic forward Glen Davis following the game. “We can’t lay back, our tempo has to be up. Our motor has to be going to get these games.”