The Orlando Magic look to notch their 10th win in the last 11 home matchups with Minnesota when the Timberwolves pay a visit on Thursday. Both teams are buried in losing stretches with the Magic dropping eight of their past 11 games and the Timberwolves losing four of their last five.
Orlando dropped to 10 games below .500 and is in danger of sliding out of contention for an Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Magic allowed a season worst for points when they lost 132-122 to the host Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday and power forward Aaron Gordon committed eight of the team's 18 turnovers. Minnesota suffered a 108-106 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday as its rally from an early 23-4 deficit fell short. Center Karl-Anthony Towns recorded 26 points and 18 rebounds for his third straight double-double and 35th of the season.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), FS Florida (Orlando) LINE: Magic -2
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (25-28): Derrick Rose (foot) will sit out for the fifth time in the past six games as Minnesota continues to be depleted at point guard. Jeff Teague (foot) is expected to miss his eighth consecutive game and Tyus Jones (ankle) will be sidelined for the 10th straight contest, meaning Jerryd Bayless (five points on 2-of-10 shooting against Memphis after six straight double-digit outings) will again be counted on heavily. Forward Dario Saric registered a season-high 22 points and also collected seven rebounds and five assists against the Grizzlies.
ABOUT THE MAGIC (22-32): Swingman Terrence Ross made five 3-pointers and scored 26 points off the bench against Oklahoma City as trade speculation swirls about his future. Ross is averaging a career-best 14.4 points and is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, which could put him on the move so Orlando doesn't see him leave without compensation in July. "Whether you get traded or not, you're on a team to do a specific job," Ross told reporters. "Regardless of whether you get traded to a team that needs what you do, or you stay with the team that needs you, you've got to play at the end of the day. We don't have any say-so, so it's just about staying focused and not worrying about none of that."
1. Towns recorded 29 points and 15 rebounds as the Timberwolves posted a 120-103 home win over the Magic on Jan. 4.
2. Minnesota F Luol Deng scored a season-best 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting against Memphis.
3. Orlando SF Jonathon Simmons (abdominal) will miss his fourth straight game.
PREDICTION: Magic 118, Timberwolves 113 Bet Now
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