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You may not have noticed it, but the Minnesota Timberwolves actually finished last season’s string, which you would not know by looking at their record, which was pulled into the gutter of terrible play for three quarters of the season. But the strong finish has been carried over into the 2021-22 season as they are out for respectable 3-2 to 5 games this year. They will try to improve that record on Monday when they meet the host of the Orlando Magic on Monday. Last season, the T-Wolves and Magic shared two games, with Minnesota blowing them out in the second meeting in May last year. Can 3-2 Timberwolves beat 1-6 Magic again?
Magic experiences growing pains
It’s going to be a long year for the Orlando Magic – the team had to realize that when they blew the team up last season. They start 1-6 and have lost 4 straight. This is an extremely young team that is just trying to gain experience and gradually get better. But they will take their lumps this season, as they did Saturday when they lost 110-103 in Detroit. The Magic played pretty well, making 43.7% of their shots off the floor and 50% of their threes, but in the end they were canceled out by turnovers and errors.
Detroit came to the free throw line 15 times more than Magic did, and that turned out to be the difference. Rookie Franz Wagner had another great game and lost 19 points to lead Orlando. Cole Anthony continues to shine, scoring 15 points and snatching 10 rebounds, while Franz’s brother Mo Wagner added 13 points from the bench. RJ Hampton added 11 points. Gary Harris is doubtful for Monday’s game against Minnesota.
The T-Wolves lose a tough one to the Nuggets
When the Minnesota Timberwolves got their top three players healthy at the end of last season – Karl Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and Dangelo Russell – they actually started playing well. All three started this season healthy and the T-Wolves solid play continues as they have 3-2 to start the season. They faced a tough test Saturday night when they took on the Denver Nuggets, and they nearly pulled it out, losing 93-91.
The Timberwolves had the lead heading into the fourth quarter, but reigning MVP Nikola Jokic took over down the stretch to lead Denver to victory. The Wolves held Denver to 41% shooting, but they only shot 39% from the floor themselves. Malik Beasley had himself one night off the bench, scoring a team-high 18 points from 6 three-pointers. Towns, Edwards and Russell each had 14 points, with Edwards snatching a team with 11 rebounds and Russell handing out with 6 assists.