Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from win over Orlando Magic

The Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a three-game losing streak with a convincing win over the hapless Orlando Magic.

Final
Minnesota Timberwolves
128
Orlando Magic
96

The Orlando Magic are one of the few teams that could legitimately make a case as a more snake-bitten franchise than the Minnesota Timberwolves — at least over the last year, anyway.

The Magic lost Jonathan Isaac to a season-ending injury before the current season even started, and lost the improving Markelle Fultz to an ACL tear after just eight games. Since trading away Aaron Gordon at the deadline, newly acquired pieces Otto Porter Jr. and Wendell Carter Jr. are now out with injuries, too.

Orlando has suited up 28 players over the course of the season. That should tell you about what you need to know.

Needless to say, the Wolves pulled out to an early lead and put this thing away in short order. It was strong, aggressive defense from Minnesota that lead to a flurry of fastbreak scores as the visitors took a 34-19 lead after the first quarter.

Karl-Anthony Towns dominated early, and the starting backcourt of D’Angelo Russell and Ricky Rubio provided a scoring punch as well. The Wolves built a 27-point lead early in the second quarter. Orlando went on a quick run to get things back under 20, but Minnesota used a 10-3 run to get the lead back to 27.

The game was virtually over at that point. The Wolves’ halftime lead was 74-44, and they went up by 40 midway through the third quarter. Orlando didn’t score their 74th point until the 9:47 mark of the fourth quarter.

The Wolves’ biggest lead was 41, and they were able to hold the Magic below 100 points despite extended garbage time.

Even though Orlando is severely depleted, this was an impressive performance by the Timberwolves on both end of the court and a great bounce-back after three consecutive losses.

Minnesota Timberwolves Player Grades at Orlando Magic

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

Center, Minnesota Timberwolves

A

Karl-Anthony Towns was playing for the first time on Mother’s Day since his mother’s tragic passing last April. He dominated early in the game and managed to put up 27 points on 19 shots and pull down nine rebounds in just 29 minutes. Towns added four assists, two blocks, and a steal in the blowout.

ANTHONY EDWARDS

Wing, Minnesota Timberwolves

A

Anthony Edwards was really good, albeit relatively quiet in the scoring column compared to what we’ve become accustomed to seeing. He scored 15 points on an efficient 7-of-11 shooting and was 5-of-5 from inside the arc. He also led the team in rebounding with 10 boards and handed out five assists with only one turnover.

D'ANGELO RUSSELL

Guard, Minnesota Timberwolves

A-

D’Angelo Russell tied Towns for the team scoring lead with 27 points, but it took him 21 shots in just 30 minutes to get there. He was 5-of-9 from deep, which was nice to see after some recent struggles from 3-point range. Russell also had eight assists and only one turnover.

RICKY RUBIO

Point Guard, Minnesota Timberwolves

A-

Ricky Rubio had a strong start and added a strong third quarter to reach 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting. He also had two assists, two rebounds, and one steal with zero turnovers. Suffice it to say, the Rubio-Russell starting backcourt was far more effective in this one then they were in Friday’s loss to Miami.

JARRED VANDERBILT

Big, Minnesota Timberwolves

A-

Jarred Vanderbilt had arguably his best game of the season on Friday. He earned another start on Sunday in Jaden McDaniel’s continued absence and was solid, albeit in only 22 minutes. Vanderbilt put up eight points and eight rebounds and added a steal and a block.

NAZ REID

Big, Minnesota Timberwolves

A

Naz Reid did a little bit of everything off the bench. He had nine points, eight rebounds, four assists, and a block in only 16 minutes. With so much garbage time, he lost minutes to Ed Davis down the stretch and didn’t get a chance to put up even bigger numbers.

JAYLEN NOWELL

Guard, Minnesota Timberwolves

B+

After a rough return to the floor on Friday in Miami, Jaylen Nowell was really good in this one. He had eight points, three rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in 25 minutes and led the bench with a +10 plus-minus.

Other Minnesota Timberwolves Players

Josh Okogie came off the bench again and led the reserves with 26 minutes. He had three points, three rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block while shooting just 1-of-6 from the floor.

Jordan McLaughlin bounced back nicely after a poor game last time out, putting up seven points, five rebounds, two assists, and a steal.

Jake Layman played seven minutes in garbage time and scored five points, while Ed Davis went scoreless in six minutes with two rebounds.

Next up for the Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves will be in Detroit for their final road game of the season on Tuesday night. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. CT.