Timberwolves visit Magic seeking 5th straight win

Updated: December 17, 2012

The Minnesota Timberwolves shoot for their fifth straight win when they take on the Orlando Magic Monday night at Amway Center.

Minnesota made it four wins in a row with Saturday’s 114-106 overtime triumph versus the Dallas Mavericks and got a game-high 21 points from Nikola Pekovic. Pekovic also grabbed nine rebounds, while Alexey Shved netted 18 points and Derrick Williams contributed 16 in a winning cause.

The Timberwolves welcomed back point guard Ricky Rubio and he was sidelined after recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament in his left knee suffered last March. Rubio played 18 minutes and added eight points and nine assists in 18 minutes.

“I think Ricky is a fantastic point guard,” Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko said. “He likes to play with a creative flair for finding his teammates. it’s always a privilege to play with that kind of guy, You know if you move without the ball, he’ll find you.”

The Timberwolves improved to 12-5 when scoring 90-plus points this season. Kevin Love did not play against the Mavericks and is probable tonight with a bruised right thumb and flu-like symptoms.

Minnesota, winners in six of the last seven games, will also visit Miami on the road trip and is 5-6 as the guest. The Wolves have been tough on the defensive end, holding opponents to 93.7 ppg.

Orlando has won two straight and three of four games, including Saturday’s 107-98 victory at Charlotte. The Bobcats took a brief lead at 93-92, but the Magic responded with a game-changing 8-0 run.

Arron Afflalo had 20 points and six rebounds, Glen Davis chipped in 20 points and Jameer Nelson delivered 16 points and six assists for the Magic, who shot 54.4 percent for the game and had a 43-31 advantage on the glass.

“You’re seeing different relationships develop out there and it’s just a sign of us playing and continuing to grow with each other,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn remarked.

J.J. Redick ended with 14 points and Nikola Vucevic recorded a double-double of 13 points and 13 boards in the win. Orlando is now 7-1 when scoring 100- plus points and went 25-5 when accomplishing the feat last season.

The Magic will also host Washington on their quick homestand and are 5-6 in central Florida.

Orlando suffered a 90-75 loss at Minnesota on Nov. 7 this season and had a seven-game winning streak in this series come to an end. The Magic, though, have still won eight of 10 and nine of the past 12 meetings in this series.