ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Reserves Cole Anthony and Bol Bol each scored 17 points to lead the Orlando Magic to a 115-104 win over the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Wendell Carter Jr. led seven Magic scorers in double figures with 19 points, and Orlando’s bench outscored the Nuggets’ reserves 56-10. Orlando is in 13th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 23-33.
Aaron Gordon had a season-high 37 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Nuggets. Nikola Jokic had 29 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, and combined with Gordon to score all 29 of Denver’s points in the third quarter.
After missing their first five shots and falling behind 12-0, the Magic shot 63% (27 for 43) for the rest of the first half. They led by 16 points before Gordon and Jokic helped Denver cut its deficit to 10 points — 65-55 — halftime.
Gordon (17 points) and Jokic (12) handled all the scoring for the Nuggets in the third quarter, and a 3-pointer by Gordon pulled them to within three late in the period.
But Gordon and Jokic spent he first 3:34 of the final period on he bench, and Anthony and Bol led a rally that pushed Orlando’s lead back to 107-88 with 6:05 remaining.
Bol scored 12 straight points before leaving the game with 4:36 remaining. Anthony finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Nuggets: G Jamal Murray missed a third game with right knee inflammation, and coach Michael Malone indicated it is unlikely Murray will play again until after the All-Star break. ... F Zeke Nnaji missed a second game with a strained right shoulder.
Magic: G Jalen Suggs started his first game since Nov. 25, replacing Gary Harris (groin) in the starting lineup. ... The Magic shot 9 for 27 from 3-point range and are 23 for 75 (31%) over the last three games, including two wins.