(Sports Network) - The Northwest Division-leading Minnesota Timberwolves hostthe Orlando Magic tonight in a battle of somewhat unlikely 2-1 teams.
The Timberwolves split a two-game road trip, but finished on a high note whenthey overcame a 22-point deficit in Brooklyn to beat the Nets. It was thelargest comeback for the T-Wolves organization since early 1998.
"They were getting everything they wanted in the first half," said ChaseBudinger, who tallied 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting Monday. "They werepushing us around, bullying us. So we came into halftime and coach gave us agood speech and we just brought it in the second half, a lot of energy, and weweren't going to let them bully us anymore. That's what happened. We startedbullying them."
Minnesota scored 60 second-half points and held the Nets to 34, including adismal 10 points in the final frame.
Nikola Pekovic led the way with 21 points, but the venerable Andrei Kirilenkohad his usual stat line - 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, four blocks anda steal. Kirilenko is second on the team in scoring, leads the squad inrebounding, assists, minutes played and shares top honors in blocks.
The Magic suffered their first loss of the season last night, a 99-93 setbackagainst the Chicago Bulls. Without starters Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu,the Magic were outscored by eight in the fourth quarter and fell in theirfirst road contest of the early season.
"It reinforces how we have to play basketball. We can't play one-and-onebasketball," said head coach Jacque Vaughn. "The ball started to stick alittle and the ball didn't move as much as we needed to."
Glen Davis and Nikola Vucevic had matching 16-point, 10-rebound nights, butArron Afflalo, the big piece the Magic got in return for Dwight Howard thispast offseason, shined Tuesday night with 28 points, five boards and fiveassists.
The Magic only committed 12 turnovers against the Bulls, one of the bestdefensive teams in recent seasons, but Orlando only forced nine turnovers fromChicago.
The Magic have won the last seven meetings against the Timberwolves and fivestraight in Minnesota.