MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nikola Vucevic had 28 points and 12 rebounds to lead Orlando past Minnesota 132-118 on Friday night, although the Magic played most of the second half without coach Steve Clifford, who left in the third quarter due to illness.
The Magic tweeted about Clifford’s departure during the fourth quarter, saying the coach was being taken to a hospital for further evaluation. Assistant coach Tyrone Corbin took over in Clifford’s absence.
Markelle Fultz added 24 points for the Magic, who snapped a three-game skid by shooting a season-best 60.7% from the floor, even with second-leading scorer Evan Fournier on the bench injured.
Malik Beasley led Minnesota with 29 points, including 19 in the third quarter. But the Wolves couldn’t stop Orlando’s more-balanced attack and saw their two-game winning streak ended.
Vucevic had his 34th double-double and scored at least 20 points for the 30th time this season. D.J. Augustin scored 18 points, while Michael Carter-Williams had 17 and Terrence Ross 16.
After spending much of the first half trading baskets with the Wolves, Orlando started pulling ahead with a 14-4 run to close the second quarter. Then, the Magic opened the second half outscoring Minnesota 24-11 to take control of the game.
Magic: Fournier missed shootaround and is day-to-day with a hyper-extended right elbow after getting hurt diving for a loose ball during Wednesday night’s loss in Miami. He’s averaging 18.8 points. Wes Iwundu started in his place, and finished with eight points.
Timberwolves: Beasley’s 14 made field goals was a career-high. … C Karl-Anthony Towns (wrist) missed his 10th game; the team said he would be re-evaluated in two weeks. Asked if there’s a possibility he could return this season, coach Ryan Saunders said “That’s the collective goal, but as I said we’re looking for continued healing and we’ve seen that so far.” F Kelan Martin left in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle.
Magic: At Houston on Sunday.
Timberwolves: Complete their homestand Sunday against New Orleans.
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