Game Preview: Nuggets Looking for Season Sweep of Magic
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Denver Nuggets take their six-game winning streak to Orlando, Florida as they take on the Magic tonight in a game that will wrap up the season series between the two teams.
The Nuggets are coming off of a win over the Eastern Conference’s top team, the Toronto Raptors, on Monday night. The Nuggets were led by Nikola Jokić and his triple-double performance, as well as a 21-point showing by Jamal Murray. The Nuggets sit at 16-7 and hold the top spot in the West, sharing the same record as the Los Angeles Clippers but holding a tiebreaker.
The Orlando Magic will be facing a back-to-back after winning in Miami on Tuesday. The Magic were led by Aaron Gordon’s 20 points and 13 rebounds in the 105-90 win. Orlando holds a record of 12-12 and have won two games in a row.
The Nuggets and Magic last met on November 24 with the Nuggets winning 112-87. The Nuggets were led by Trey Lyles with 22 points and Mason Plumlee with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Here is what to watch for tonight:
Slowing down Nikola Vucevic: The Orlando center has been on a tear lately, averaging 25 points, 12 rebounds and 5.2 assists over his last five games on 55% field goal shooting and 42% from deep. The Nuggets held Vucevic to just 16 points in the first meeting, five below his season average of 21 points per game.
Winning in the paint: In the first game in November the Nuggets won the battle in the paint decisively, outscoring the Magic 64-32 down low. Denver’s 64 points in the paint were above their season average of 52.8 while Orlando’s 32 fell short of their average of 43.3. The Nuggets also won the rebounding battle, hauling in 57 compared to Orlando’s 45 boards.
Nikola Jokić’s passing: The Denver center has been an offensive machine over the last five games, averaging 9.2 assists in that span. Jokić has struggled shooting, making just two threes in those five games, but has excelled at creating good looks for others. After his 15 assists in Toronto Jokić now has three games of 15+ assists in his career, no other starting center in the NBA over the last 20 seasons has recorded one game of 15+ assists.
Tonight’s game will tipoff at 5 pm MT and will air on Altitude TV and the AltitudeNOW app. Fans can listen on Altitude Radio, 92.5 FM.