The Orlando Magic rode a career effort from Nik Vučević en route to an easy 97-84 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The win snaps Orlando's four-game losing streak and is its first away from home since January 12th, a 12-game span.
Vučević scored 37 points and grabbed 17 rebounds--including seven offensive--against a woefully overmatched Wolves front line; owing to injury and illness, the only bigs Minnesota had available were Adreian Payne and Justin Hamilton.
But as one might expect against the league's worst defense, other Orlando players stood out: Tobias Harris scored 25 with 12 rebounds, and a season-best-tying four triples, while Elfrid Payton scored 10 points with 10 assists.
By halftime, Vučević had scored 18 ponts on an effortless 9-of-11 shooting to stake his club to a 52-42 advantage. The Wolves cut that deficit to four points at one juncture in the third quarter, but Payton and Aaron Gordon made key baskets to prevent the hosts from drawing any closer. Orlando then rode Vučević in the fourth to put the game away: he shot 5-of-7 for an additional seven points, helping buoy a Magic offense which had otherwise lost its way.
The Magic's win mathematically eliminates them from finishing with the league's second-worst record.