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Magic 104, Timberwolves 101: Orlando rallies for overtime victory

It took a second-half rally, but the Magic got back to their winning ways on Wednesday night.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

In yet another tight game, the Orlando Magic found a way to pull out a victory in overtime against the Minnesota Timberwolves, 104-101.

Playing in their first game since Saturday, the Magic were flat, looking like a team playing their third game in four nights early against the Timberwolves. Orlando struggled to get anything going consistently on the offensive end, missing wide open shots and layups alike. Their defense wasn't much better, getting beat time after time by the young, athletic Timberwolves bunch.

Coach Scott Skiles searched for life and energy from anyone on his team, playing 11 players in opening quarter and a portion of the second. Unfortunately for the first-year Magic coach, his team was unable to find anything, giving up easy looks to a Minnesota team who looked the part of the team coming in after three days off.

Orlando's inability to finish at the rim continued to haunt them, with Minnesota taking just under half of the attempts in the paint (17) as the Magic did (33), with Minnesota scoring just six fewer points in the paint. The Magic's inability to finish, coupled with poor shot attempts from everywhere else on the floor, allowed the young, athletic Timberwolves to get out in transition and take advantage with easy buckets.

Desperately looking for something to work, Skiles shook things up with this starters in the third quarter, going with Dewayne Dedmon and Channing Frye over Nikola Vucevic and Victor Oladipo. While much of the quarter was still a struggle for the Magic, with shots being forced and Minnesota finding easy looks, things began looking up for the Magic once Jason Smith entered. Smith, along with Elfrid Payton and Evan Fournier, sparked a 15-0 Magic run to allow the team to take their first lead since the early minutes.

The Magic's late surge was in large part thanks to seven Minnesota turnovers in the quarter, leading to 12 Magic points. The Magic also began hitting their shots, going 12-of-21 in the quarter, including 8-of-11 from the painted area.

Having cut the Minnesota lead down to five, the Magic looked to have a real shot at pulling out a late victory. Rolling with the group that got him there, Skiles found balance with Andrew Nicholson and Smith in the front court, slowing down Minnesota's post players, while giving the team just enough plays on the offensive end. Payton, who put together possibly his best game of the season, continued attacking, giving the Magic buckets around the hoop, helping keep the momentum going.

Up two late, the Magic turned to Payton to try to give them a late bucket. The second-year man stepped on the line, however, giving Minnesota six seconds to either tie or win the game. Out of the timeout, Minnesota gave the ball to Andrew Wiggins, who swiftly drove and scored over Fournier, tying the game up with two seconds left. Tobias Harris got open for a layup, but Karl-Anthony Towns rotated over and swatted the offering, sending the game into overtime.

Into overtime, both teams looked gassed, with shots falling short and turnovers and poor possessions a plenty. After the Timberwolves took a two point lead, Fournier hit a learning three between two defenders to give the Magic a lead. A Timberwolves bucket was quickly answered by Payton's three-point play to put the Magic up by two with 49 seconds left. Tied up late, Fournier knocked down a three to give the Magic the lead with three seconds left.

Fournier led the Magic's comeback with 26. Payton finished the night with a career-high 24, to go with seven rebounds and six assists. Tobias Harris tallied another double-double, finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Wiggins led all scorers, finishing with 28 on the night. Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Zach LaVine added 14 off the bench, with Kevin Martin finishing the night with 12.