NBA: Magic beat West-leading Nuggets with balanced effort
Wendell Carter Jr. scored 19 points, Cole Anthony and Bol Bol scored 17 apiece and the host Orlando Magic beat the Denver Nuggets 115-104 on Thursday night.
Moritz Wagner scored 12 points, Paolo Banchero had 11 points and 10 rebounds, Jalen Suggs also scored 11 points and Franz Wagner added 10 points for Orlando. The Magic won for the third time in four games.
Aaron Gordon scored a season-high 37 points and added 14 rebounds, Nikola Jokic had 29 points and 12 rebounds and Michael Porter Jr. finished with 12 for Denver.
Jamal Murray missed his third straight game and second due to right knee inflammation for the Nuggets on Thursday.
The Nuggets scored the first 12 points of the game but Orlando quickly recovered and led 29-26 after one quarter. The Magic built the lead to 52-36 midway through the second quarter, but Denver closed the gap to 65-55 at halftime.
— Bally Sports Florida: Magic (@BallyMagic) February 10, 2023
Orlando built its lead to 74-60 on a dunk by Markelle Fultz early in the third quarter but the Nuggets started to creep back into it.
Jokic hit a running dunk and fed Gordon for a 3-pointer, Gordon dunked and Jokic hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. After Franz Wagner’s layup made it 82-72 Gordon and Jokic scored four points apiece during an 8-0 run that cut the deficit to 82-78.
Denver got as close as three but the Magic took an 89-84 lead into the fourth.
Anthony scored seven points early in the final quarter, pushing the lead to 98-86 with 9:14 left. Bol scored seven straight points to give Orlando a 107-88 lead with 6:05 left.
Jokic racked up seven straight Denver points to get within 109-95, and after Moritz Wagner missed a layup Bruce Brown made a floater to cut the deficit to 12 with 4:36 left.
The teams traded misses before Gordon hit a running layup. Carter’s layup made it a 12-point game again and the Magic closed it out.