EditorsNote: adds to second graf
Jamal Murray scored 33 points, Nikola Jokic had 18 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, and the host Denver Nuggets used a big third quarter to rally past the Orlando Magic 113-104 on Wednesday night.
Paul Millsap had 15 points and 12 rebounds in his return to the lineup for Denver, which beat the Magic for the eighth straight time. Millsap missed the previous two games due to a right quadriceps strain.
Nikola Vucevic had 20 points, D.J. Augustin scored 18 off the bench, Evan Fournier had 13 and Markelle Fultz finished with 10 for Orlando, which was outscored 68-44 in the second half.
The Magic closed the first half strong, going on an 18-3 run to take a 17-point lead. Orlando settled for a 60-45 advantage at intermission, then was up 69-50 early in the third quarter after a 26-foot step-back 3-pointer by Fournier.
The Nuggets woke up after that. The Magic missed 11 consecutive shots while Denver scored 24 straight points to go from 19 down to five ahead.
Millsap got it going with three baskets and a free throw to cut the deficit to 12, and Jokic hit a short jumper and Will Barton had a steal and a dunk. Orlando missed three more shots, Millsap sank two more free throws, and Magic coach Steve Clifford drew a technical, leading to another made foul shot.
Jokic made a corner 3-pointer off an offensive rebound, and Jerami Grant’s 3-pointer gave Denver a 70-69 lead.
Mo Bamba broke a scoreless Magic drought of more than six minutes with a dunk, but Murray answered with a dunk. The Nuggets’ lead grew to 11 before Augustin made three free throws in the final second of the third to make it 84-76 heading into the fourth.
The lead was still eight midway through the fourth, but Orlando scored six straight points to get within 98-96 with 4:30 remaining. Murray hit a 13-footer, and after Vucevic missed a 3-point try that would have cut it to one, Murray hit one from long range.
Another Vucevic miss led to a 3-pointer by Jokic to make it 106-96, and Denver was able to close it out.
—Field Level Media