It was not pretty to say the least, but the Denver Nuggets found a way to get it done on Sunday night at Ball Arena as they used a big second half comeback to secure a 119-109 victory over the Orlando Magic.
The Nuggets have now won five games in a row and are a perfect 4-0 with Aaron Gordon in the lineup. Denver’s record improves to 31-18 on the season, which is good for fourth place in the Western Conference.
It was not the greatest of first quarters for the Nuggets as they allowed Orlando to jump out to a 29-23 lead after the games first 12 minutes. One positive from the first quarter was the play of Gordon, who scored 12 first quarter points, which just so happened to be the Nuggets first 12 points of the game.
The second quarter produced more of the same as Orlando outscored Denver 36-24 in the period to take a 65-47 lead into halftime. Denver shot just 18-of-46 from the field in the first half and 4-of-15 from beyond on the arc. On the flip side, the Magic shot 26-of-47 from the field and 9-of-18 from three to build their lead against the Nuggets.
When the third quarter rolled around it was due or die time for the Nuggets as they had to put together a big 12 minutes to have any shot at a comeback. Denver did just that as they outscored the Magic 38-21 in the third quarter and trailed by just 1-point going into the fourth quarter.
Nikola Jokic was the star of the show in the third as he recorded eight assists in the period to help the Nuggets get back into the game. Gordon and Jamal Murray also played a big role in Denver's third quarter success as they certainly came out of the halftime locker room with a lot more energy than how they started the game.
In the fourth quarter, the Nuggets did what they needed to do to get the job done. They made big shots when they had to and found a way to knock off a Magic team that gave them everything they could handle.
Gordon led the way for the Nuggets offensively with arguably his best game in Denver. Not only did Gordon score 24 points, but he did so on an efficient 10-of-13 shooting from the field to go along with seven rebounds and two assists.
Jokic also finished with a pretty solid stat line of 17 points, 16 assists (two off his career-high), and nine rebounds on 5-of-11 shooting from the field. The Nuggets also had a fair amount of players score in double-figures as Murray poured in 22 points, while Michael Porter Jr. (20), Will Barton (15), and Monte Morris (10) also hopped in on the scoring.
Denver will be back in action on Tuesday night when they welcome the Detroit Pistons to town. It will be another reunion game as Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee will be playing their first games in Denver since signing with Detroit last offseason. Tip-off for that game is set for 7pm MST.
Also, shoutout to R.J. Hampton, who gave it everything he had and played awesome for Orlando. Hampton scored a career-high 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field, 2-of-5 from beyond the three-point line. There is no doubt Hampton is going to be a player in this league and it’s a shame it wont be in Denver, but we wish him all the best!