Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/3

Game 1: Wednesday, December 3rd
Game 2: Saturday, December 27th

Magic 118

(24-6, 11-3 away)

Timberwolves 94

(5-24, 2-12 home)

    Coverage: KSTC

    8:00 PM ET, December 27, 2008

    Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 31 22 26 39118
    MIN 22 33 19 2094

    Top Performers

    Orl: J. Nelson 20 Pts, 6 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    Min: R. Gomes 14 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Magic win seventh straight, all vs. West teams

    Associated Press

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu made sure there would be no letdown for the Orlando Magic.

    Fast Facts

    • The Magic became the first NBA team to win its 11th road game this season despite a season-low five rebounds from Dwight Howard (17 points).

    • This game was Orlando's 12th straight against a Western opponent and it finished the stretch 11-1.

    • Timberwolves have lose nine straight home games.

    -- ESPN research

    Turkoglu scored 11 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, Nelson returned with an injured toe to score 12 in the final frame, and the Magic slowly pulled away to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-94 on Saturday night.

    Rashard Lewis added 24 points, Nelson 20 and Dwight Howard 17 for the Magic, who won their seventh straight and 11th in 12 games -- all against the Western Conference. The last time Orlando won seven straight was March 31-April 15, 2006, when the team won eight in a row.

    "In order to be a great team, you can't let up," Howard said. "I like the way we came back. We held together and came out with a good win."

    Turkoglu had seven points, including a 3-pointer, and Nelson six during a 20-5 run that gave Orlando a 102-87 lead midway through the final quarter. Turkoglu later made a long jumper and Nelson sank a pair of 3-pointers for a 114-92 cushion.

    "[Turkoglu] should be in the 3-point contest," Howard said. "He presents a lot problems for the defense. When he's hot he's tough to stop, especially late. Fourth quarter is 'Hedo Time."

    It was also Nelson Time.

    Nelson left early in the third quarter with a jammed toe on his right foot. X-rays were negative, and he returned early in the fourth.

    "I just kept my poise and made the plays when we needed them," he said. "We started playing better defense when we needed it, when it counted. And we made our shots."

    With his right foot in a bucket of ice, Nelson said he'll play Monday in Detroit.

    Coach Stan Van Gundy said that Nelson, who missed five games Nov. 26 to Dec. 3, is playing as well as any point guard in the league. Sitting next to Nelson in the locker room was Howard who, while raising his thumb, indicated and mouthed that Nelson is playing the best.

    "He's just been terrific scoring, passing, taking care of the ball and playing with good energy," Van Gundy said. "The last 10 minutes tonight he was great."

    Averaging 23.1 points in his last six games, Nelson had 27 last Saturday against the Lakers, and was 9-for-9 from the field in a 22-point effort against Golden State on Monday.

    "I'm just playing with a lot of confidence right now. I'm just trying to make the right plays," Nelson said. "With me drawing so much attention, it helps the rest of our [game] offensively and defensively."

    Rashad McCants scored 21 points for Minnesota, which ended a 13-game losing streak Friday in New York. Al Jefferson had 16 points and Ryan Gomes 14 for the Timberwolves, who have lost nine straight at home.

    "We've got to be able to lock in for 48 minutes. Everybody has to do their jobs. ... It's just going to be an ongoing process that they've got to get better at," said coach Kevin McHale. "We almost feel sorry for ourselves. We're missing easy shots, missing free throws, missing a lot of stuff. That is part of the game. That shouldn't affect your defense. We've got to get past that."

    Minnesota played Friday in New York, while Orlando was resting in Minnesota.

    "I'm not going to say we lost focus. I just feel like we gave up. I think we felt a little fatigued and we just gave up on it," Jefferson said.

    With the Magic trailing by seven early in the third quarter, Howard capped a 14-0 run by converting an alley-oop pass from Turkoglu for a 69-61 lead. He also dunked on a pass from Keith Bogans during the stretch.

    Orlando, which led by 30 at halftime Thursday against New Orleans, again dominated play early.

    Turkoglu hit a 3-pointer for a 15-2 lead 3 minutes into the game. A line drive jumper by Howard pushed the lead to 27-12.

    Minnesota, which made just four of its first 17 shots, picked up its defensive intensity and pushed the ball in the second, taking a 41-40 lead on a layup by Randy Foye midway through the quarter. A steal and layup by McCants gave Minnesota a 55-53 lead at intermission.

    Game notes

    Orlando plays its next seven games against Eastern Conference teams. ... Minnesota forward Mike Miller missed his third straight game with a sprained right ankle. ... Orlando, which beat Minnesota 100-89 Dec. 3, swept the season series for the first time since 1997-98. ... Minnesota, which ranks 23rd in the league by making 32.4 percent of its 3-pointers, was 21-for-37 combined in its past two games. ... Minnesota was 16-of-28 from the free-throw line after going 31-for-37 Friday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 118 94
    FGM-FGA 43-80 (.538) 35-85 (.412)
    3PM-3PA 12-24 (.500) 8-13 (.615)
    FTM-FTA 20-25 (.800) 16-28 (.571)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-42 15-40
    Assists 20 17
    Turnovers 15 17
    Steals 9 12
    Blocks 8 4
    Fast Break Points 10 17
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 24 7

    Top Performers

    Jameer Nelson Nelson
    Points: 20
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Ryan Gomes Gomes
    Points: 14
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1