Preview: This is the warmup for a stretch of games against strong teams. After facing the Magic in Orlando, the Wolves will play host to Oklahoma City on Thursday, play at New York on Sunday and play host to Houston on Wednesday, Dec. 26. Three of those four are division leaders. The Wolves have won four consecutive games and six of seven. Orlando has won two in a row -- including an impressive victory over Golden State -- and three of four.
Players to watch: Guard Ricky Rubio had eight points and nine assists in 18:02 of playing time Saturday; it will be interesting to see how he bounces back from his first game action. F Andrei Kirilenko is shooting 55.8 percent in December. Orlando guard Aaron Afflalo is averaging 16.2 points and four assists per game. Forward Glen Davis averages 15.7 points and 8.1 rebounds.
Numbers: The Wolves are 6-17 all-time in Orlando. Minnesota is 11-3 when leading after three quarters and 12-5 when scoring 90 or more points. Orlando has scored more than 100 points eight times, going 7-1 in those games.
Injuries: For the Wolves, forward Chase Budinger (knee surgery), guard Brandon Roy (knee surgery) and guard Malcolm Lee (knee) are out. Forward Josh Howard (hyperextended knee) is doubtful and forward Kevin Love (flu, thumb) is probable. Orlando forwards Al Harrington (right knee) and Hedo Turkoglu (broken left hand) are out.