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Wolves fall to Magic 108-106 as fourth-quarter troubles reappear

The Timberwolves had their share of issues in January, among them, turnovers, fourth-quarter offense and the immaturity that was present so much last season crept back at some inopportune times.

With the calendar flipped to February, all those issues were present as the Wolves blew a 17-point first-half lead in a 108-106 loss to the Magic.

The Wolves shot just 25% in the fourth quarter, committed 17 turnovers on the night and had moments of immaturity, like Anthony Edwards picking up a technical in a tie game with 6 minutes, 59 seconds to play.

The Wolves were 2-for-12 to open the fourth and trailed 103-101 with 1:51 to play when Mike Conley, who was 1-for-8, missed a floater. The Magic followed that with a tip-in from Jonathan Isaac. After Rudy Gobert hit two free throws to make it 105-103, Paolo Banchero missed for Orlando. The Wolves got a couple of good looks from three for Jaden McDaniels and Conley, who both missed.

McDaniels then committed an unnecessary foul on Banchero with 9.3 seconds left. Banchero hit both free throws to ice the game. Karl-Anthony Towns had 19 points on 7-for-17 to go with six turnovers. Edwards, who exited briefly after knocking knees with Wendell Carter Jr. in the second quarter, had 22 points on 9-for-18. Banchero had 23 for Orlando while Minnehaha's Jalen Suggs had 15.

A night after Gobert was left off the Western Conference All-Star team, the Wolves wanted to make an early statement that he was snubbed. Gobert was the focal point of the offensive attack early, and he responded with 11 first-quarter points. He was 3-for-3 from the field and 5-for-5 from the free-throw line.

That paced a 14-for-19 first quarter from the Wolves, who had a 38-26 lead after one.

The Wolves grew their lead to as much as 17 before Orlando began cutting into it. A 7-2 burst brought the Magic within seven as Edwards exited the game briefly after knocking knees with Wendell Carter Jr at the 4:20 mark. The Wolves held a 59-54 at the break after committing nine first-half turnovers. They also shot just 36% in the second.

After one possession in the third quarter, the Wolves allowed Banchero to get an easy dunk in transition, a furious Chris Finch called timeout to let his team have it.

It got worse before it got better for the Wolves, even after Edwards returned, as Orlando took its first lead from early in the game at 73-72 behind 10 third-quarter points from Suggs. But the Wolves closed the third strong on an 11-2 run over the final 3:56 for an 88-80 lead headed into the fourth.

That didn't last long, as Orlando made it a game again with a 9-3 burst in the first three minutes while the Wolves couldn't score, a theme that would continue.