Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY
Through the first two games of the season, the Orlando Magic are learning just how important execution is. Even if it is mostly the veterans carrying the load late in the games or in the key moments, the lesson cannot be lost on the young players who were in the game, on the bench or on the sidelines coaching.
The Magic fought back from a 17-point first-half deficit, as they always seem to do. The Timberwolves could never quite put the Magic away. Orlando even took the lead late.
It was execution and out-coaching perhaps that put the Magic to bed in this one.
Kevin Love popped open for three behind a double flare screen as Solomon Jones struggled to get around Nikola Pekovic to contest. Love drained the three with 12 seconds left to tie the game. Arron Afflalo got the kind of fall away jumper he is comfortable with and missed it short.
Minnesota executed better in overtime, taking a four-point lead quickly. The Magic committed turnovers and took some hard fouls at wrong times as the Timberwolves held on for a 120-115 win in overtime at Target Center on Wednesday.
The players and coaches talked after the game about improving communication on defense and that this was a game Orlando should have found a way to win. Losing games on made shots are easier to swallow. Missed execution feels like you left something on the floor.
This felt like the latter as the Magic celebrated a bit as if they had the game won after Victor Oladipo sank two free throws to give the team a three-point lead.
And Orlando did plenty to deserve the win to that point.no comments