By R.L. Bynum
Cole Anthony has been impressive in games this season, but Monday night was more special in a season that his Orlando Magic have struggled to pull out victories.
Anthony collected 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and wasn’t going to be denied a victory. He scored 11 points in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter as the Magic pulled away for a 115–97 win at Minnesota for their second win of the season in eight tries.
“I think a lot of these games, we’ve kind of been there in that fourth quarter that’s been when the other teams were kind of taking the strides,” Anthony said. “Tonight, we were reaching out, building up that lead in that fourth quarter, and then not letting them get back in the game.”
The Magic (2–6) trailed by 11 points in the third quarter but outscored the Timberwolves 43–19 in the fourth quarter, beginning with a pair of Anthony 3-pointers.
With all of the good offensive numbers, Anthony said that having the right defensive mindset was the key to the win, something that first-year head coach Jamahl Mosley has emphasized.
“He’s been preaching that since day one,” Anthony said. “We’ve done a pretty good job now of making that a priority. The offense is going to take care of itself. It’s been the defensive end for us. It’s really just [about] having to lock in. Just listening to the coaches.”
He was locked in on his shooting as well on Monday, making 8 of 17 shots from the floor, 6 of 11 3-point attempts and 9 of 11 free throws tries. It was the second time in his NBA career he’s reached the 30-point mark after doing it last season with 37 points against Philadelphia on May 16 in the finale of his rookie season.
For the second time this season, Anthony wasn’t far away from a triple-double after coming two assists away in a 29-point, 16-rebound game against New York on Oct. 24. Anthony’s 26.9 game score Monday was second only in his career to the 29.8 he put up in that Knicks game, which is Orlando’s only other win this season.
Orlando rookie Franz Wagner, a former Michigan star, scored 28 points, making him and Anthony the first Magic teammates 21 or younger to both score at least 25 points since March 23, 2001, when Tracy McGrady scored 33 points and Mike Miller had 28.
Danny Green suffered left hamstring tightness and asked to come out of Philadelphia’s 113–103 home win over Portland in the third quarter after repeatedly grabbing at his hamstring on the floor.
“I think his hamstring got tight,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “I don’t know how bad. I was glad we took him out. He kept grabbing at it. It’s funny, I had someone already at the table when he grabbed it, and then he makes a 3 the next play. But the fact that he wanted to come out, Danny never wants to come out. So, I would say I’m a little concerned with that.”
Green scored in double figures for only the third time in seven games this season with 11 points on 3 of 4 shooting from 3-point range in 19 minutes, his fewest since the season opener. It was his fifth game this season with a steal and his fifth game with a block.
It was Green’s best game score of the season at 11.6.
According to the Portland television broadcast, Green is always trending.
Coming off the bench for the second consecutive game with the return of Norman Powell, Nassir Little had four points in 20 minutes for Portland.
Of note for Little is that he had eight rebounds, including four on the offensive end. The 6–5 Little leads NBA wing players in offensive rebounding with 16 (2.3 per game) playing 23.6 minutes per game and is the only non-big man in the top 18 in that category.
In Chicago’s 128–113 win at Boston, Tony Bradley collected four points, five rebounds and two blocks in 13 minutes.
Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
115–97 win at Minnesota — 38 minutes, 31 points, 8–17 FG, 6–11 3FG, 9–11 FT, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 4 turnovers, +19, 26.9 game score
Season statistics — 8 games, 19.4 points, 44.8 FG%, 44.6 3FG%, 81.3 FT%, 7.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists
Up next — 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Boston; 7 p.m. Friday vs. San Antonio
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
Season statistics — 6 games, 23.3 points, 48.4 FG%, 45.5 3FG%, 84.8 FT%, 10.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists
Up next — 9 p.m. Tuesday at Utah; 10 p.m. Wednesday vs. New Orleans
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
128–113 win at Boston — 13 minutes, 4 points, 2–3FG, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 turnover, +11, 4.6 game score
Season statistics — 4 games, 2.5 points, 62.6 FG%, 3.3 rebounds
Up next — 7 p.m. Wednesday at Philadelphia; 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Philadelphia
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
Season statistics — 6 games, 6.5 points, 35.9 FG%, 31.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%, 2.5 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Up next — 7:30 Tuesday vs. Miami, TNT; 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at San Antonio
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
113–110 win at Charlotte — Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics — 2 games, 0 points, 1 rebound
Up next — 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Portland; 7:30 Friday at Toronto
Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
Off Monday, still hasn’t made his season debut as he recovers from a left hamstring strain
Up next — 10:30 Tuesday vs. Houston; 10:30 Thursday vs. Oklahoma City
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
113–103 win vs. Portland — Started; 19 minutes, 11 points, 4–5 FG, 3–4 3FG, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, +5, 11.6 game score
Season statistics — 7 games, 6.6 points, 47.1 FG%, 43.8 3FG%, 2.7 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Up next — 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Chicago; 7 p.m. Thursday at Detroit
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
Season statistics — 4 games, 6.3 points, 34.6 FG%, 35.3 3FG%, 1.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Tuesday vs. New Orleans, TNT; 10 p.m. Thursday vs. Houston, NBATV
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers wing
113–103 loss at Philadelphia — 20 minutes, 4 points, 2–5 FG, 0–2 3FG, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, +1, 2.8 game score
Season statistics — 7 games, 8.1 points, 51.2 FG%, 44.4 3P%, 77.8 FT%, 6.0 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Up next — 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cleveland; 10 p.m. Friday vs. Indiana
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
Season statistics — 4 games, 7 points, 3–4 FG, 1–2 3FG, 2 rebounds
Up next — 7:30 Wednesday vs. Atlanta, ESPN; 7 p.m. Friday at Detroit
Recovering from injury
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard (had left shoulder surgery; unlikely to play until late November)
In G League
Justin Jackson, Texas Legends forward (Dallas Mavericks affiliate); opener Nov. 5 at Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic affiliate)
Theo Pinson, Maine Celtics guard (Boston Celtics affiliate); opener Nov. 5 at College Park Skyhawks (Atlanta Hawks affiliate)