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Beede’s Breakdown: How visiting Timberwolves caused problems for Magic

The Magic trailed by as many as 34 points in a game that they never led against the Timberwolves on Tuesday night at Kia Center.

The No. 1 team in the West, Minnesota shot 53.8% and limited Orlando to just 37 points in the first half in its 113-92 victory.

The length and size of the Timberwolves (26-10) caused problems throughout for the Magic, who were never able to fully recover after falling behind by double-digits from the jump.

Orlando (21-16) heads to Miami to begin a four-game road trip that opens with a back-to-back against the Heat on Friday and the Thunder on Saturday.

Starting 5

For the second game in a row, Jalen Suggs, Chuma Okeke, Caleb Houstan, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze made up Jamahl Mosley’s first group.

Regulars Franz Wagner (right ankle sprain) and Wendell Carter Jr. (right knee tendinitis) missed their third straight games while Markelle Fultz came off the bench for a second consecutive contest after almost two months away because of left knee tendinitis.

The Timberwolves held a firm grip near the basket on both ends. Minnesota opened on a 10-0 run and ended up with 60 points in the paint.

Bigs such as Karl-Anthony Towns (28 points) and Rudy Gobert (21) made it tough on Paolo Banchero (18).

The second-year forward, who had been averaging 36.7 points in the last three games, failed to crack 20 for the first time in six games (he scored 19 Dec. 27 at 76ers) after shooting 1 of 7 in the first quarter.

Minnesota filled up the interior and forced tough shots from Orlando, which shot 31% (13 of 42) from 3-point range.

After scoring a career-high 25 points on 7 of 15 shooting from beyond the arc vs. Atlanta, Houstan struggled to find his shot. He finished 2 of 10 from distance for 8 points.

Suggs picked up three fouls before halftime but provided a spark on offense in the third quarter when he scored 11 in the frame to total 20.

Similar to Houstan, Okeke also was far from efficient from 3-point range, where he shot 1 of 8. He grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.

Bitadze (2 points) was ineffective against the Timberwolves in the paint and only took three shots near the rim.

Second Unit

The Magic were limited to just 10 available players against the Timberwolves after two-way forward Admiral Schofield (illness) was ruled out earlier in the day.

Forward Joe Ingles (left ankle sprain) missed his 13th game in a row, Jonathan Isaac (right hamstring strain) wasn’t available for a ninth straight and Gary Harris (right calf strain) sat out his third.

Fultz, Cole Anthony, Anthony Black, Moe Wagner and Trevelin Queen came off the bench.

Anthony, however, only logged seven minutes. Mosley said after the game that his right thigh contusion, which forced him to sit out at Sacramento, flared up again.

Playing under a minutes restriction (12-16), Fultz played the final 6:05 of the first quarter and the last 6:36 of the third to total almost 13.

After not scoring in his first game back against Atlanta, Fultz finished with 4 points (2 of 7 shooting), all of which came in the paint. To go with 3 rebounds and 2 assists, he sunk a floater in the first and a fadeaway jumper in the third.

Moe Wagner led the bench with 21 points and did most of his scoring in the paint. That allowed him to get to the free-throw line where he shot 8 of 11.

Queen was efficient from distance (3 of 4) to total 11 points. He added 3 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal in 28 minutes.

Rookie Watch

Black started the second quarter in place of Fultz. In that frame played great individual defense against Naz Reid and later hit a 3-pointer, his lone make.

The No. 6 overall pick dished out a team-high 4 assists and closed out the game to play 21 minutes.

Email Jason Beede at jbeede@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on X, known as Twitter, at @therealBeede.