Player grades from Minnesota Timberwolves’ home loss to Magic

Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves laid an egg on Friday night, giving up 130-plus points to the offensively-challenged Orlando Magic for the second time in a week.

38. 118. 86. Final. 132

After losing to the Orlando Magic by a final of 136-125 just last Friday, the Minnesota Timberwolves struggled just as much defensively in the rematch.

The Wolves trailed nearly wire-to-wire, although they tied the game at 51 in the second quarter. But that from that moment forward, it was all Magic.

Orlando got into the paint at will, as the Wolves help defense was a half-step late all game and Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon dominated the paint. No individual player on the Wolves had more rebounds than Juan Hernangomez‘s eight, and starting center Naz Reid had just three rebounds in 28 minutes as the the Magic won the rebounding battle by a 45-36 margin.

A week after scoring a season-high 136 points against the Wolves, Orlando shot a season-best 60.7 percent from the field. It was genuinely a layup line; the Magic were just 7-of-21 on 3-point attempts and lived within 15 feet of the rim all night.

In addition to Vucevic and Gordon’s dominance, the backcourt was able to get to the rim at will. Markelle Fultz hung 24 points on just 14 shots, D.J. Augustin had 18 points off the bench, and Terrence Ross (16 points) and Michael Carter-Williams (17 points) each contributed, too. Not exactly the collection of guards that you feel okay giving up an explosion to, to say the least.

The Wolves were okay offensively, but by the time they found a rhythm in the second half, it was too late. For the game, they were only 10-of-27 from beyond the arc, their worst 3-point shooting percentage and the least amount of makes since the trade deadline. The last time that Minnesota made this many threes in a game was the horrendous loss to the Atlanta Hawks back on Feb. 5 — also known as Andrew Wiggins‘ final game as a Wolf.

In short, this was a poor all-around game from the Wolves. At home, against a sub-.500 team and coming in with a two game winning streak, it was disappointing to say the least.

Player Grades

Minnesota Timberwolves. D'ANGELO RUSSELL. D. This was easily <a rel=. Guard

A. <a rel=. Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. MALIK BEASLEY

C. Juancho had another game that was just okay, putting up eight points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes. He struggled to contain Aaron Gordon, however, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Hernangomez also shot just 1-of-5 on 3-point attempts and didn’t do much offensively overall. The Wolves need more from him in games against teams with formidable frontcourts, and that’s especially true with <a rel=. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JUANCHO HERNANGOMEZ

C-. It was almost like <a rel=. Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE

Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. NAZ REID. C. Naz Reid had a decent first quarter but it was all downhill from there. After consecutive strong performances earlier this week, he had 16 points on 14 shots and shot just 1-of-5 from beyond the arc. More troubling, he managed to grab only three rebounds in 28 minutes as they Wolves were dominated on the glass.

Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JAMES JOHNSON. B+. <a rel=

Jarrett Culver had another good game. He put up seven points on 3-of-7 shooting and made a 3-pointer. He also had four rebounds and two assists and had a team-best plus-minus of +11.. Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. JARRETT CULVER. B+

A. Along with Beasley, <a rel=. Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. JORDAN MCLAUGHLIN

Other Players

Jake Layman had his most complete game since his return from injury, scoring 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting in 18 minutes. He did most of his damage in the second quarter, scoring in the paint a couple of times, hitting three free throws and draining a three. It’s good to see him starting to get his feet back underneath him.

Kelan Martin played only five minutes and had two points. Jaylen Nowell played the entire fourth quarter and dropped 11 points (3-4 FG, 0-1 3P, 5-5 FT) and adding two assists and a steal. He showed good aggression on offense, but missed his only 3-point attempt and avoided grabbing any rebounds in the stint.

Next. The rise of Jordan McLaughlin. dark

Next Up

The Wolves stay at home and will host the New Orleans Pelicans for a 2:30 p.m. tip-off on Sunday at Target Center.