Mon, 24 Jan 2022

Cole Anthony returns, helping Magic beat Nuggets to end skid

Field Level Media
02 Dec 2021, 13:19 GMT+10

Cole Anthony had 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in a successful return to the Orlando lineup and Franz Wagner hit a go-ahead triple with 1:45 left, helping the Magic end a seven-game losing streak with a 108-103 comeback win over the visiting Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

Wagner's 3-pointer gave the Magic their first lead of the game at 106-103. Will Barton missed an off-balanced triple from the left wing after Denver called timeout with 8.4 seconds to go, and Anthony sank two free throws after being fouled on the rebound to cap the scoring.

Wagner finished with 15 points and was one of six Magic players to score in double figures.

Anthony, who missed Orlando's previous six games because of a sprained ankle, scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half. His presence at the point guard spot was needed even more after rookie Jalen Suggs suffered a fractured right thumb on Monday against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Orlando, which is scheduled to start a five-game Western Conference road swing on Friday at Houston, improved to 2-8 at the Amway Center while defeating Denver for the first time in 11 games. The Nuggets had won 10 in a row against the Magic going back to the 2016-17 season.

Denver's sloppy start to the third quarter opened the door for Orlando to overcome a 16-point halftime deficit.

Wendell Carter Jr. scored 11 of his 18 points in the third quarter, hitting a triple from the top of the key to bring Orlando within 73-69 at the 3:29 mark. Anthony's three-point play with 29.6 seconds to go in the period kept the Magic within 83-79 entering the fourth quarter.

Orlando played from behind the entire first half. Aaron Gordon scored the game's first basket as the Nuggets shot 54.3 percent from the floor, building leads of 29-15 after the opening quarter and 63-47 at halftime.

Nikola Jokic had 18 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists and Gordon scored 17 points in his return to Orlando.

Jokic scored 12 first-half points as part of his 13th double-double in 16 games this season. Gordon, a former first-round draft pick of the Magic, made 7-of-12 attempts from the floor in addition to clearing eight rebounds.

Monte Morris scored 10 of his season-high 22 points in the fourth quarter for Denver, which was without rookie Bones Hyland and Austin Rivers, who both entered the NBA's health and safety protocols.

--Field Level Media

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