By: Eric Page
The Wolves (1-5) are coming off a brutal performance – especially on the defensive end -- in a loss to the lowly Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night and will wrap up a three-game road trip with a game against the Magic (3-4) tonight in Orlando.
Behind a torrid 6-of-7 performance from 3-point range, Andrew Wiggins scored a career-high 36 points in the loss, but he was just 7 of 22 from inside the arc, failing to finish several shots at the rim, and he continued to struggle at the line, missing two crucial free throws down the stretch. Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach Lavine had typically strong offensive games, but the Wolves had no answer on defense, allowing a Jeremy Lin-less Nets team to shoot 55% and score a season-high 119 points.
It’s a bit early in the season to say the Wolves are in desperation mode, but this young team really needs a win to build some confidence and establish some positive momentum, especially with the Clippers and surprisingly improved Lakers coming to the Target Center this weekend.
What: Wolves @ Magic
Where: Amway Center – Orlando
When: 6 p.m. CST
Where to watch: Fox Sports North
Where to listen: 830 WCCO
What to Watch
Play at the point: Kris Dunn went scoreless in only 16 minutes Tuesday night and has struggled from the field early in the season, shooting just 36%. Tyus Jones played 32 minutes off the bench, making 4 of 7 field goals, including two 3-pointers. He also added five rebounds and seven assists. It will be interesting to see how much Tyus plays tonight.
3rd quarter woes: The Wolves 3rd quarter struggles continued Tuesday night, scoring only 19 points. This trend has got to be reversed, and a lot of that either falls on first-year coach Thom Thibodeau or players simply not executing.
High flyers: Lavine and Magic forward Aaron Gordon wowed the NBA world with their back-and-forth battle in the Dunk Contest last All-Star weekend, and both are trying to establish themselves as more than just spectacular dunkers. Lavine has continued to build on his success from last year, averaging better than 17 points a game and shooting 41% from the arc. Gordon, meanwhile, is averaging 11 points and 5 rebounds per outing.
The Wolves have lost eight straight games in Orlando.
The six 3-pointers made by Wiggins on Tuesday was a career high.
Minnesota: Ricky Rubio – OUT (elbow)
Orlando: Nikola Vucevic – Day-To-Day (shoulder)
Magic 107, Wolves 96.