Orlando Magic's Evan Fournier (10) celebrates the game-winning basket by Cole Anthony at the end of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Magic won 97-96. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Orlando gets buzzer-beater Magic win

The Orlando Magic stunned the Minnesota Timberwolves with a buzzer-beater three to end a six-game losing streak. Orlando won 97-96 and are now (7-8) on the season.

Magic rookie Cole Anthony is responsible for this winning shot.

However, beating the buzzer was not his only way of contributing to the win. Anthony was one of four Magic players to score double digits, with 13 points. He also chipped in seven rebounds along with three assists.

Despite a solid performance, beating the buzzer is not an easy task. But the rookie from North Carolina saw and opportunity and took it.

”I’m like, ‘Alright, I probably won’t be able to get to the rim, but I can shoot this three,”’ Anthony said. ”It felt good. I didn’t really see the shot after I shot it. I seen it go through the net and that was about it.”

Another player that scored 13 points is Aaron Gordon who also added nine rebounds and seven assists.

Joining them in the double-digits club are Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic who scored 24 and 28 points respectively.

Minnesota loses control

After a sluggish start on both ends, Minnesota was able to take control of the game. They dominated the second quarter, outscoring Orlando 30-10.

They entered the court on the second half with a 16 point lead. At one point, they were able to extend that lead to 20.

Minnesota Timberwolves’ Josh Okogie, center, drives between Orlando Magic’s Cole Anthony, left, and Evan Fournier (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The lead was keyed by 24-1 run in the second quarter, in which Minnesota’s D’Angelo Russell played a big part. The 6’4″ guard ended the game with 19 points, two rebounds and six assists.

After that, the Magic slowly started chipping away the lead from the Timberwolves. Minnesota started missing important shots while Orlando started connecting with the net again.

Key shots by Anthony and Gordon helped the Magic achieve the comeback.

Orlando outscored Minnesota 33-26 in the third quarter, and 29-19 in the last frame. They closed the game with a 19-5 run that ended the game.

Part of the key shots missed by the Wolves were two free throws by Jarred Vanderbilt that led to an Orlando rebound and the Anthony buzzer-beater.

Minnesota rookie Anthony Edwards said that he felt like they “gave the game away ” to Orlando.

Wolves coach Ryan Saunders recognized that part of the reason they lost their lead was their attempt at switching things up in their game plan.

“I thought we started making things up defensively, in terms of, ‘Let’s switch this as opposed to stick to our solid game plan. Can’t do that. That’s not a recipe for winning.”

Orlando Magic’s Khem Birch, left, and Minnesota Timberwolves’ Malik Beasley . (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Missing players

Both teams were short handed in this match due to either injuries or health protocols.

Minnesota was missing Karl-Anthony Towns, Juancho Hernangomez and Ricky Rubio because of COVID-19 protocols.

As for the Magic, they were missing  Al-Farouq Aminu who is out with a right knee surgery. Head coach Steve Clifford said that Aminu is practicing in non-contact drills, but his return isn’t imminent.

Orlando is also missing Michael Carter-Williams due to a sprained left foot. Clifford said that he is closer to returning but did not provide a timeline.

Up Next

The Orlando Magic will travel to Indiana to face the Pacers. The game is scheduled for Jan. 22 and tip-off for this game is set for 7 p.m. Minnesota on the other hand will get ready to host the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 22 as well. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.

About Camila Maffuz

Camila is a senior at the University of Florida, who served as a beat writer for the women's basketball team from 2019 until the 2021 season. She was also a beat writer for the Gators football team during the 2020 season. Camila is also WUFT's news director as well as a sports reporter/anchor.

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