Timberwolves slide into a loss against the Magic

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 13, 2005

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) &045; The Orlando Magic got just what they needed to break their road slump and bad defensive habits: A matchup with the sliding Minnesota Timberwolves.

Hedo Turkoglu scored 26 points in his first start of the season, Grant Hill added 20 and the Orlando Magic snapped their seven-game road losing streak with an 87-80 victory Wednesday night.

Steve Francis had 17 points for the Magic, who withstood a 19-point, 25-rebound night from Kevin Garnett to win their first road game since Dec. 10 at Golden State.

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&uot;If we give this kind of effort every night on the road, we’ll be all right,&uot; said Turkoglu, who played a team-high 43 minutes.

&uot;I haven’t played this many minutes,&uot; Turkoglu said. &uot;My teammates looked for me.&uot;

Orlando played without newly acquired guard Doug Christie, who was given a few extra days to join the team. He was expected to join the Magic on Friday at Detroit.

Even without Christie’s solid defensive skills, the Magic &045; who have allowed the most points per game in the league this season &045; held Minnesota to 30-of-77 shooting from the floor, 39 percent.

The Magic repeatedly clogged the lane, taking away the Wolves’ passing lanes when Garnett was in the post. As a result, Garnett was forced to the outside on several occasions. Minnesota’s 18 turnovers didn’t hurt Orlando’s cause either.