“If we give this kind of effort every night on the road, we’ll be all right,” said Turkoglu, who played a team-high 43 minutes.
“I haven’t played this many minutes,” Turkoglu said. “My teammates looked for me.”
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—who have allowed the most points per game in the league this season—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.
“We were really tenacious on defense tonight,” Magic coach Johnny Davis said. “Our guys were really swarming.”
Even so, the Timberwolves—who lost their third straight—still had a chance late.
Latrell Sprewell, who finished with 12 points, hit a jumper to pull Minnesota to 84-80 with 1:35 to play. Orlando failed to score and Minnesota had a chance to further cut the lead, but Anthony Carter’s pass to Sprewell on the perimeter appeared to hit off referee Bill Spooner, and Hill came away with the ball and called timeout.
Garnett missed a runner on Minnesota’s next possession, Jameer Nelson made one of two free throws on the other end, and Garnett was called for an offensive foul on the Wolves’ ensuing possession.
Minnesota has lost 11 of its last 15 games.
“We’ve got to knuckle down and play some defense,” Garnett said. “I feel like if we can stop some people, we can win some games.”
Wolves coach Flip Saunders thinks it will take more than defense, though. Saunders said he was disappointed with his team’s energy to start the game.
“It was extremely poor, almost embarrassing,” Saunders said.
Orlando built an early lead as Minnesota shot 15-for-42 in the first half. The Magic led 50-41 at halftime, with 10 points coming off nine Wolves turnovers.
The Magic led by 11 lead early in the third quarter after a 10-2 run. Minnesota got back into the game by scoring seven unanswered before Turkoglu drained a 3-pointer with 1:26 to go and added a pair of free throws before the end of the quarter.
“It was a great effort overall as a team,” Turkoglu said. “It was great to get a win in a close game.”
Wolves point guard Sam Cassell missed his third straight game. He missed the previous two games with a strained right hamstring, but missed Wednesday’s game because of a death in the family.
Turkoglu’s season-high is 27 points. He has scored in double figures 25 times this season. … Troy Hudson started in place of Cassell but was sidelined early in the third quarter after experiencing back spasms. … Sprewell turned his left ankle near the end of the first quarter, but he returned in the second.