Jokic nets 26, Denver’s balanced scoring too much for Magic

Feb 14, 2022, 7:01 AM | Updated: 10:10 pm
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic reaches out for a loose ball during the second half of an NBA ba...

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic reaches out for a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, in Denver. The Nuggets won 121-111. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored 26 points to lead six Denver players in double figures, and the Nuggets beat the Orlando Magic 121-111. on Monday night.

Jeff Green and Will Barton added 17 points apiece and Bryn Forbes had 16 for the Nuggets, who have won four of five since losing three in a row. Bones Hyland had 14 points and Aaron Gordon 10.

Franz Wagner scored 26 points to lead the Magic, who have lost three in a row, all by double digits. Wendell Carter Jr. added 25 points and Jalen Suggs had 16.

Leading by 13 points at the half, the Nuggets got a jumper from Forbes at the end of the third quarter, followed by a driving dunk by DeMarcus Cousins to start the fourth and extended their lead to 87-70.

Orlando fought back to within 99-87 on Carter’s dunk with 6:54 left to play and cut the deficit to eight points on Carter’s 3-pointer with 1:32 remaining. Jokic answered with a 3-pointer from the corner on the Nuggets’ ensuing possession, and Green had a dunk and Hyland a pair of free throws around a 3-pointer by Wagner to help fend off the Magic’s comeback bid. Their balanced offense is a reflection of the improved play by the Nuggets’ midseason acquisitions as they get more comfortable and increasingly adapt to their new teammates and new surroundings.

“I think we’re figuring each other out and getting things rolling now,” said Forbes, who was acquired from San Antonio in mid-January. “I think we’re all starting to click, and understand each other.”

Added DeMarcus Cousins, who was signed to a second 10-day contract: “I think we’re taking the right steps forward. I’m just trying to come in and bring good energy for these guys, be a spark.”

The Magic got off to a slow start, missing their first seven attempts from 3-point range and trailing 29-14 after the first quarter. They fell behind by as many as 22 points in the second quarter before managing to gain some ground and closing to within 53-40 at halftime. “I’m really proud of this group’s resilience and their ability to fight and continue to play no matter what’s happening in the game,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. “We’ve got to get better at taking care of the basketball. We gave points away early, but these guys continue to fight.”

Wagner said it was encouraging to see the team battle to the end.

“At the same time, we didn’t come here to lose by 10 points and walk out satisfied,” he said. “We need to do a better job of starting games. … But we have all guys that want to compete and want to win.”

TIP-INS

Magic: F Moritz Wagner was held out the game with bruised left ribs. … Former Nuggets player Gary Harris had 15 points in his first game back in Denver since being traded to Orlando a year ago.

Nuggets: G Monte Morris missed a third consecutive game because of a concussion. … F Zeke Nnaji missed a second straight game due to a right hamstring injury. … Jokic also had 15 rebounds.

UP NEXT

Magic: Host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

Nuggets: At Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Brumfield TD run sparks UNLV over New Mexico 31-20

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Doug Brumfield threw for 233 yards and ran for a second-half touchdown as UNLV scored 24 unanswered points and beat New Mexico 31-20 on Friday night. Brumfield rolled to his left before diving over a defender and into the end zone from six yards out to tie the game 17-17 midway […]
1 day ago
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) stiff-arms Washington linebacker Carson Bruener durin...
Associated Press

Thompson-Robinson leads UCLA past No. 15 Washington, 40-32

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Dorian Thompson-Robinson had read and heard the comments about UCLA’s unbeaten start not meaning much due to the quality of opponents it played. On Friday night, Thompson-Robinson and the Bruins made sure to make a statement with their first victory over a top-15 team since 2014. Thompson-Robinson passed for 315 yards […]
1 day ago
Fans watch as New York Yankees' Aaron Judge comes to bat during the third inning of the team's base...
Associated Press

Yankees star Judge tries again for AL-record 62nd home run

A look at Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees as he approaches major home run milestones: Season HR Total: 61 Friday’s Game: Went 1 for 2 with two walks in a 2-1 loss to Baltimore. Judge also is bidding for the first Triple Crown since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012. Judge leads the AL […]
1 day ago
San Francisco Giants' Evan Longoria (10) celebrates with Mike Yastrzemski (5) after hitting a two-r...
Associated Press

Longoria 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, Giants win 10 of 11, beat Dbacks

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Evan Longoria homered twice and drove in five runs as the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-4 Friday night for their 10th win in 11 games. Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Wynns also went deep as San Francisco (79-78) moved above .500 for the first time since Aug. 17. The […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of...
Associated Press

Clayton Kershaw sharp, MLB-best Dodgers rout Rockies 10-1

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw went six scoreless innings in his next-to-last start before the playoffs and the Los Angeles Dodgers had an eight-run fourth inning in a 10-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night. Cody Bellinger hit a three-run home run, Mookie Betts had a pair of doubles among his three […]
1 day ago
Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks celebrates after the White Sox defeated the San Dieg...
Associated Press

Jiménez, White Sox win 3-1; Padres’ magic number still 3

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Eloy Jiménez homered and the Chicago White Sox jumped on San Diego ace Yu Darvish in a 3-1 win Friday night that slowed the Padres’ march toward a playoff spot. Darvish was pushed back a day to give him extra rest with an eye toward pitching in the NL wild-card round, […]
1 day ago
Jokic nets 26, Denver’s balanced scoring too much for Magic