ORLANDO, FL – The Orlando Magic faced off against the Denver Nuggets tonight at the Amway Center.
Orlando got off to a slow start as the Nuggets got off to a 12-0 run to start the game.
Paolo Banchetto was even fouled at the 8:38 min mark in the first quarter and missed both free throws.
Jalen Suggs, who started the game for Gary Clark (out because of knee soreness), got the Magic started with a 3-point shot. Suggs followed that with a layup after a Magic fast break.
Denver managed to make 7 turnovers in the first quarter, letting Orlando back in the game.
Orlando guarded two time MVP Nikola Jokic by committee, with Wendell Carter Jr pushing back against his post up moves, and Paolo Banchero and Markelle Fultz fronting him when he tried to turn to the center for a swing shot. Jokic was held to 3 points in the first quarter, and 7 points in the first half.
Jalen Suggs had a strong first half, scoring 11 points, but appears to re-injur his leg at the end of the first half. Suggs finished the half on the court, and was right back out on the floor for second half warm ups, and started the second half
Aaron Gordon had a field day in the first half. Gordon took advantage of the double teams on Jokic, by feating in the paint, scoring on dishes and passes off from Jokci for 18 points in the first half.
Orlando shot 56% from the field in the first half, while Denver shoot 51% from the tiled, and 42% from deep.
In the third quarter, Denver changed tactics and had Jokic stay on the outside, while Gordon did more dirty work. Jokic increased from 7 points a the end of the half, to 19 going into the fourth. Gordon continued to wreak havoc, with 35 points going into the fourth.
with 6 min left in the game, Bol Bol makes two key scores against the Nuggets, a clutch uncontested 3-point shot, followed by an inside shot over the Denver defense.
With six minutes left, Orlando was up by 19 points, their largest lead in the game.
the Magic managed to hold on to a lead of 10-12 points in the final minutes of the game. They did go cold on some shots, but managed to get stops on the other end.
Orlando’s second unit came through for them, outscoring Denver’s second unit 56-10 and giving them a big advantage on the night.
Cole Anthony and Bol Bol both had strong nights with 17 points each, keeping the scoring momentum going for Orlando through the end.
The majority of Denver’s scoring was through Aaron Gordon, who finished with 37 points, and 14 rebounds, and Jokic who had 29 points and 11 rebounds. The rest of the Nuggets starters and bench were not as effective.
Wendell Carter Jr lead the Magic with 19 points, followed by Anthony and Bol with 17, and Banchero and Suggs with 11 points each.
“These guys have done a great job stepping into their roles.” Said Magic Head coach Jamahl Mosley “I said in one of the huddles ‘You guys just go out there and play the game, read and react’. and they’re getting so much better at it.”
The Magic return to the floor to face the Miami Heat on Saturday February 11th at the Amway Center.
Mo Bamba Trade Is Official
The Mo Bamba trade to the Los Angeles Lakers was declared official late tonight and both head coach Jamahl Mosley and Cole Anthony expressed gratitude for what Bamba brought to the Magic.
Bamba was traded to the Lakers for Patrick Beverly and a second round pick, and cash considerations. Orlando is expected to waive Beverly.
“Having Mo Bamba with us was fantastic.” said Mosley.”Obviously, the trade pans out with our team we’ll wait and see, but having him on our team was great.”
“R.I.P. to bro. I’m going to miss him.” said Anthony “He was like a brig brother to me, almost like a mentor to me, since high school. I’m gonna miss bro. It’s sad to see him go, but he’s going to do some good things over there.”