Teague returns, guides Wolves past Magic
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jeff Teague's return from an ankle injury boosted the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 120-103 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night, Jan. 4.
Teague was back in the starting lineup after a nine-game absence, and he had 23 points and 10 assists in 28 minutes. Karl-Anthony Towns added 29 points and 15 rebounds for Minnesota. Towns is averaging 28.3 points and 16.8 rebounds over his past six games.
The Timberwolves are 5-9 in their past 14 games but have now won four of their past seven.
Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 22 points and seven rebounds, and Evan Fournier added 21 points. Orlando has lost two of its past three and is 3-6 in its past nine games.
Minnesota turned a 19-point deficit into an 88-75 lead, outscoring the Magic 44-12 in a 12-minute stretch spanning the second and third quarters. The Timberwolves extended their lead to 21 in the fourth quarter, and the Magic were never able to make it close again.
Orlando maintained a 68-64 halftime lead after its hot shooting in the first quarter cooled off in the second.
The Magic made 73.9 percent of their field goals in the first period, grabbing a 40-31 lead, but went just 2-for-13 in the final four minutes of the second. Minnesota closed out the half on a 20-5 run after trailing by as much as 19 in the second quarter. The Timberwolves then opened the third quarter on a 24-7 run.
Minnesota was 4-5 without Teague, who was averaging 11.6 points and 8.3 rebounds coming into the night. Backup point guard Derrick Rose missed his fourth consecutive game because of a right ankle sprain, and Robert Covington sat out his second game in a row with a bone bruise in his right knee.
Orlando begins a tough stretch of games Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers. The matchup is the first of three games in four days to close out a six-game road trip. Minnesota hosts the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.