The Orlando Magic beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 104-101, in overtime on Wednesday, this after a game-winning three-pointer by Evan Fournier, who finished with a team-high 26 points.
“It was a big shot,” Orlando guard Elfrid Payton said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “A big shot.”
Payton added 24 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals, as the Magic improved to 6-6 on the season. Payton and Fournier combined to shoot 20-of-40 (50 percent) from the field.
“The ball was moving, we was able to get shots that was open and within the flow of the offense, and me and him was able to knock them down tonight,” Payton said.
The Magic also had 10 steals en route to forcing 14 turnovers.
“Yeah, that’s something we’re trying to build our identity (around),” Payton said, “starting on the defensive end and it’s starting to show.”
Tobias Harris had a double-double for Orlando, finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds, but it was his defense that may have won the game. Harris made life tough for Andrew Wiggins, who finished with a game-high 28 points but had to work for all of them.
“It doesn’t look like it, but he did a great job on Wiggins at times tonight and forced him to make some tough shots,” Payton said. “Like you said, he was big on the boards, and out in transition he was able to score.”
The Magic played 12 players for at least seven minutes, and all but one of them scored, as Orlando was able to overcome a 1-point night from Victor Oladipo, who was 0-of-6 from the floor and 1-of-4 from the foul line.
“We feel like we have a deep team,” Payton said. “Those guys were ready to play. Jason Smith coming back from injury hans’t played. Andrew Nicholson hadn’t played in a couple games. They were ready when their number was called. True professionals.”
The Magic have now won five of seven since their 1-4 start. Three of those five wins have come by five points or fewer.
“It’s helping us to grow, learning how to get through these situations and get through those games,” Payton said. “So I think we’re on the right track.”