The Minnesota Timberwolves withstood a 40-point barrage in the first quarter by the visiting Orlando Magic to take a convincing 120-103 victory. The hosts started out slow but then amped up on defence which led to a massive turnaround, much to the delight of the fans at the Target Center in Minnesota.
Coming into this one, the T-Wolves had just dropped a couple to the Celtics and Pelicans and were desperate for a win at home. With this resilient show of quality defensive basketball, Minnesota have now won four of their last seven matchups, currently down at a dismal 13th spot in the West leaderboard with an 18-21 (0.462) to show. They are next in line to face the ailing LeBron-less Lakers side.
On the other hand, after losing four in a row, the Magic have now lost two of their previous five matchups. Having a 7-10 record on the road, their recent loss against the Timberwolves has pushed them 10.5 games below the East leaders, and the team with the best record in the NBA, in the Bucks. They are currently out of playoff contention down at the 10th spot holding a 17-21 (0.447) record next to their name.
Let's draw out some key takeaways from this come-from-behind win by the buoyant Timberwolves side over the slumping Orlando Magic.
#1 Karl-Anthony Towns and Jeff Teague notch impressive double-doubles
After going through foul trouble in the first half, KAT came back to drop 21 points in the second half, leading the T-Wolves' second-half onslaught. He finished with a solid double-double of 29 points and 15 rebounds, along with a steal and a block on the defensive end.
"We came in here, at halftime, we said, `hey, we've got to change the game," Towns said. "We did that. In essence, we came in here and mostly slapped each other and said, `Wake up."
Teague contributed with nine points and four assists in the third period, not showing signs of any rustiness whatsoever in his return from injury. After missing out on nine games due to left ankle inflammation, Teague bounced back with a tough double-double of his own scoring 23 points and dishing out 10 dimes.
He shot an awe-inspiring 8-of-10 from the field and made all his three shots from downtown.