The Denver Nuggets welcomed in the Orlando Magic on Saturday night to Pepsi Center. The Magic were without former Nugget Arron Afflalo for this contest as he was out with an ankle sprain. Denver has been on an absolute tear since exiling Andre Miller from the team, rattling off four straight wins. The Nuggets got perhaps their best win on Thursday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Quincy Miller got his second straight start after Wilson Chandler suffered an injury against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. Miller made the most of the opportunity against the Magic, posting his first career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. The second year player also added 2 blocks, 1 assist and 1 steal in a stat-sheet-filling game. Following Jameer Nelson‘s 3-pointer with 8:54 left in the first quarter, the Nuggets had a 12-10 advantage. That was the last time Orlando would be within striking distance of Denver for the remainder of the game. The Nuggets led 34-25 after the first period behind a balanced scoring effort in which Kenneth Faried, JJ Hickson and Ty Lawson each had 7 points and Randy Foye added 6 of his own off of two made 3-pointers.
Lawson and Nate Robinson joined in on the 3-point party to start of the second quarter with back-to-back threes from the diminutive point guard duo. Glen Davis and rookie Victor Oladipo were the driving factors for the Magic in the second quarter. While the Magic had no answer for Timofey Mozgov as the tallest player in this game and he took advantage in the second frame by chipping in 6 points and collecting a pair of rebounds.
Denver out-ran the Magic by scoring 12 fastbreak points to Orlando’s 2. The Nuggets also continued to flourish from three as the shot 6 of 14 from deep in the first half and also found their groove from the free throw line shooting 15 of 17. This team has looked quite impressive over the last five games, though other than the Thunder the Nuggets have played mostly inferior teams. Even OKC was without Russell Westbrook in that match up, which likely made a large difference. The Magic are no exception at 10-26 and missing their leading scorer in Afflalo. It will be interesting to see if this Nuggets team is capable of sustaining the hot streak they are on. They could end up rivaling last seasons 16-game winning streak when all is said and done.
The Nuggets took a 69-47 advantage into the locker room at half and they just widened the gap in the second half. Denver owned a 92-66 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Davis continued to be the only factor for the Magic with 20 points through the first three quarters. Brian Shaw emptied the Denver bench in the fourth quarter and Evan Fournier scored 11 points in the quarter to bring his total to 18 for the game along with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Fournier has been brimming with confidence since finding his way back into Shaw’s main rotation and taking full advantage of the opportunity he has been given. Mozgov added another 6 points and 7 rebounds to bring his game total to 14 points and 9 rebounds. Hickson had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Faried had a near double-double at 17 points and 9 rebounds. Denver finished with 7 players in double-figure scoring – Faried, Fournier, Foye, Hickson, Lawson, Miller and Mozgov – and the Nuggets run away with the victory, 120-94 to give them their fifth straight win.