The Minnesota Timberwolves were effectively blown-out by the Orlando Magic on Thursday night, dropping the Wolves even further out of the playoff race.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are running out of time.
After standing pat at Thursday’s trade deadline, the Wolves turned in an uninspired effort in the land of the Magic Kingdom, trailing by 13 points at halftime and 20 midway through the third quarter before ultimately falling by 10 points.
Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie were the only Timberwolves players who appeared to be ready to play in this one. Jeff Teague was upgraded to questionable before the game but ultimately did not play, and to make matters worse, the lone remaining point guard on the roster with a guaranteed contract injured his toe.
The Wolves played a solid first quarter and stayed close for most of the second before the Magic became red hot, riding a 3-point heater from Terrance Ross that surfaced again in the fourth quarter as Orlando put the game away.
Minnesota’s defense wasn’t all that bad early in the game and the initial double-digit lead was spurred on largely by some impressive shooting from the Magic. The second half, however, featured worsening defense and, outside of Towns, inconsistent offense.
It was another night that Towns was practically ignored by the officials on offense (he attempted just one free throw in 36 minutes despite attempting 16 field goals), and while he generally did an okay job keeping his emotions in check on the other side of the court, he was still called for three personal fouls and one technical.
Ryan Saunders waved the white flag with the Wolves down 12 points and just under two minutes left. With a game on Friday night in New Orleans, it was the right move.
After all, the Wolves are running out of time.
The rest of the players
The Wolves turn around and play the Pelicans in New Orleans on Friday night. The game will tip-off at 8:30 p.m. and be televised on ESPN.