Magic end Timberwolves' five-game win streak, 108-102
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 17, 2018 10:46 AM
Orlando Magic players Khem Birch (24), and D.J. Augustin (14), battle Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
By Dick Scanlon, Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Evan Fournier scored a season-high 32 points to help the Orlando Magic break a seven-game losing streak with a 108-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).
D.J. Augustin added 11 points and three assists in the fourth quarter, when the Magic scored 35 points after trailing by two through three.
Jimmy Butler had 28 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had won five straight games by an average of 18.8 points.
Bismack Biyombo had 16 rebounds for the Magic, leading the team with the NBA's worst rebound percentage to a 51-37 advantage.
Fournier and Augustin hit three-pointers during a 14-4 fourth-quarter run that put Orlando ahead to stay, and Augustin's three free throws with 2:10 left gave the Magic a nine-point lead, the biggest of the game for either team.
Jeff Teague and Karl-Anthony Towns answered with three-pointers to keep the Timberwolves (29-17) in it, but Biyombo scored five straight Magic points to regain an eight-point lead with 50 seconds left.
A loss would have dropped Orlando (13-31) to the worst record in the NBA.
Magic guard Arron Afflalo and Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica were ejected with 7:58 left in the second quarter when they got into a fight while the game was being played.
Afflalo threw at least one punch in the fight, which came four minutes after both players had been assessed technical fouls.
Three-pointers by Aaron Gordon and Fournier helped erase an early seven-point Minnesota lead, and the Magic led by four late in the second quarter.
The Timberwolves led 48-47 after a first half in which they were out-rebounded by nine.
Timberwolves: Minnesota, which is now fourth in the Western Conference, is 6-11 against teams from the East.
Magic: With 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half, rookie Khem Birch exceeded his career totals in both categories. ... Biyombo had 10 rebounds and three blocks in the first quarter.
Timberwolves: Play at Houston on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time).
Magic: Play at Cleveland on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time).