On March 8, Jacque Vaughn fundamentally altered the Orlando Magic's starting lineup. Vaughn made second-year big man Kyle O'Quinn the team's starting power forward, partly to see how O'Quinn would fare against better players. Saturday night's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves offered the Magic an opportunity to test O'Quinn in a different way. It allowed team officials to see how O'Quinn would respond after an awful individual game. Just 24 hours earlier, O'Quinn made only five of his 20 shot attempts in a loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. Vaughn and point guard Jameer Nelson wondered if the subpar night would have any lingering effect on O'Quinn. And they weren't the only ones. "I wanted to see how I responded," O'Quinn said. "It was a rough night from me. I wanted to bounce back for myself and for the team — to get a win." He succeeded. O'Quinn recorded a double-double as the Magic overcame a 13-point deficit in the third quarter and beat the injury-riddled Timberwolves 100-92. O'Quinn scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and collected 13 rebounds. "That's where you want to see growth in this league," Vaughn said. "You want to have your teammates depend on you. Tonight, his teammates were able to depend on his effort and his ability to be in the right place for them." With the Magic leading 93-90 with 2:46 to go, O'Quinn grabbed an offensive rebound off a miss by Arron Afflalo. O'Quinn went up strong for a putback layup and scored as he absorbed a foul by Gorgui Dieng. O'Quinn pumped his fist after the ball went through the hoop, and then he made the ensuing free throw. His three-point play gave the Magic the breathing room they needed.
Kyle O'Quinn bounces back as the Magic beat the Timberwolves 100-92
Orlando Sentinel | Apr 6