The Orlando Magic came back from a double-digit halftime deficit to force overtime and went to Evan Fournier for the game-winner to hack out a 104-101 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night.
The Magic fell behind 52-38 at the break and Magic head coach Scott Skiles decided to play some of Orlando’s starters limited minutes in the second half. The ploy worked as the Magic’s reserves played with more energy and Orlando outscored Minnesota, 33-24 and 22-17 in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.
Starting center Nikola Vucevic played a total of 16 minutes and none in the second half while starting shooting guard Victor Oladipo played just 20 minutes and just seven after the halftime break. Vucevic shot 4-of-13 from the field for 8 points while Oladipo missed all of his six shots from the field for a single point.
Fournier led the way for the Magic with 26 points including the game-winning three-pointer with 3.0 seconds to go in the game. Fournier was 9-of-17 overall from the field and 5-of-7 from the three-point area. Elfrid Payton added 24 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals.
Off the bench, Jason Smith had 5 points and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes, Shabazz Napier had 9 points on 2-of-4 shooting from behind the arc in 15 minutes, Andrew Nicholson had 8 points and 7 rebounds in 22 minutes.
The sorry loss wasted a good scoring night from Andrew Wiggins, who had 28 points and Karl-Anthony Towns, who had a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds plus 6 blocked shots.
The Timberwolves snapped a four-game skid after winning against the Miami Heat last Tuesday and were looking for their third back-to-back wins of the season. Instead, they suffered the road loss and fell back to 5-7 for the season. Minnesota returns home in their next three games, against the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks.
The Magic have won three of their last four games and will face the Sacramento Kings Saturday.