Orlando Magic Grades: Orlando Magic 132, Minnesota Timberwolves 118

Michael Carter-Williams provided a huge energy boost for the Orlando Magic in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Michael Carter-Williams provided a huge energy boost for the Orlando Magic in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic were concerned after a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves as Steve Clifford went to the hospital after succumbing to an illness.

132. 38. 118. 86. Final

The Orlando Magic’s minds might have wandered elsewhere as they finished their business and took a sizable lead. Maybe they had let go of the gas pedal too much and allowed the Minnesota Timberwolves to sneak dangerously close back into the game.

Orlando had put in some masterful work throughout the second and third quarters, expanding its lead to double-digits in the second quarter and pulled away in the third. The Magic got wherever they wanted offensively, driving through the lane and getting all the way to the basket to score.

The defense started dictating its will in the second quarter too. The Timberwolves turned the ball over and the Magic got on the break. Minnesota’s 3-point shooting went cold and Orlando won fairly easily 132-118 at Target Center on Friday.

As the Magic put the finishing touches on this game, their thoughts had to go to their head coach.

Steve Clifford left the game in the third quarter after becoming ill. The Magic’s public relations account tweeted he was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. Tyrone Corbin finished the game as the team’s acting head coach.

The Magic are scheduled to leave for Houston on Saturday. It is not yet clear what is exactly going on. Considering Clifford’s health history — he had two stents put in his heart in 2013 and he missed 20-plus games two years ago in Charlotte as he dealt with headaches resulting from sleep deprivation — it is certainly very scary.

UPDATE: The Magic announced Clifford was released from the hospital early Saturday morning and diagnosed with dehydration. He is cleared to resume coaching the team.

Just like with the players, health always comes first. Everyone is in it for the long haul and there are some things more important than basketball.

It would be hard not to be concerned at this point. For everyone in the basketball family. And especially for his team. Hopefully, it is nothing too concerning. But it was still jarring not to see Clifford on the bench leading his charge.

The Magic certainly put in a performance he would be proud of and happy with through much fo the night. They overcame that adversity — along with the loss of Evan Fournier to sprain in the UCL in his right elbow — to win the game.

Orlando shot 60.7 percent from the floor while holding Minnesota to 46.9 percent shooting and 10-for-37 percent shooting from deep (27.0 percent).

Both teams made their hay in the paint. But Orlando took care of business with enough defense again to pull away.

A+. With <a href=. PG. Orlando Magic. MARKELLE FULTZ

B+. <a href=. C. Orlando Magic. NIKOLA VUCEVIC

A-. With Evan Fournier out, the Orlando Magic are going to have to find energy from some different places to make things work. <a href=. G. Orlando Magic. MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS

B-. <a href=. F. Orlando Magic. AARON GORDON

14th West. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES. C. <p>The Minnesota Timberwolves were on a two-game win streak. They had really begun to coalesce as a 3-point shooting team that ran hard against opponents and constantly put pressure on defenses. This was a team that had some mojo (if they could ever defend).</p><p>Minnesota did not defend. And the team did not get much shooting to go in its favor. Minnesota made only 10 of 37 3-pointers. <a rel=. 19-43

The Orlando Magic are now 28-35 and 8th in the Eastern Conference, one-half game behind the Brooklyn Nets for seventh and 4.5 games ahead of the Washington Wizards for the final playoff spot. The Magic’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 15 Magic wins or 15 Wizards losses.

Next. 5 questions the Magic must answer in the fourth quarter of the season. dark

The Orlando Magic’s road trip continues Sunday in Houston against the Houston Rockets.