Josh Okogie guards Terrence Ross

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Wolves falling on hard times again

Two weeks after reaching .500, they've lost five of six

February 08, 2019 - 5:17 am

   ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Two weeks after scratching and clawing their way back to the .500 mark, the Timberwolves find themselves back in an all-too-familiar spot.

   Karl-Anthony Towns scored 27 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, but the rest of the Wolves' effort fell flat in a 122-112 loss Thursday night in Orlando.

   It was the Wolves' fifth loss in six games, and it comes after the team chose not to make any moves before the NBA's trading deadline.   

   RELATED: Wolves reach .500 with win over Lakers

   Orlando's Terrence Ross scored 32 points and came up with a big defensive play to help the Magic to the victory.

   Nikola Vucevic added 21 points, Aaron Gordon 19 and Evan Fournier 18 for Orlando, which shot 54 percent and scored a season-high 71 points in the first half.

   Andrew Wiggins added 23 points for the Wolves.

   Isaiah Canaan's jump shot gave Minnesota its last lead at 39-38 early in the second quarter, but things quickly unraveled for the Timberwolves, especially on defense.

   Ross had 20 points in the first half, leading the Magic to a 71-58 halftime lead. Orlando shot 65 percent in the half.

   "They came out hot. We've got to do a better job contesting," said Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders. "Terrence Ross got hot in the second quarter. We were aware of how hot he's been shooting the ball lately. You let him see one or two or even three go through early, it's going to be a long night."

   Wiggins scored 10 points in the third quarter, but the Timberwolves could get no closer than 11 until Towns converted a three-point play with 2:39 left in the fourth.

   Wiggins followed with a mid-court steal and lined up a dunk that could have cut the lead to seven, but Ross chased him down and prevented a score that could cut the gap to seven.

   "I didn't know if I was going to block it but it was worth the effort," said Ross, who was not officially credited with a block. "You don't know. Sometimes they hear footsteps and sometimes they will alter (the shot). I got lucky."


   Timberwolves: G Jeff Teague participated in the morning shootaround but missed an eighth game with a sore left foot. ... G Derrick Rose was not with the team, missing a fifth game with a sore right ankle. ... Towns was shocked to hear it announced that he had fouled out with 5:10 remaining after committing his third foul.

   "We look forward to getting him in here, getting our arms around him, understanding everything he's dealing with and getting him through it," Weltman said.


   The Timberwolves play at New Orleans on Friday night.


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