The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for West heavyweight Denver Nuggets’ clash with East strugglers Orlando Magic.
12:00 (AEDT), Mon 5th Apr @ Pepsi Center, Denver
History: Played 64: Nuggets 32 V Magic 32
Last meeting: March 21, 2021: Nuggets 110 d Magic 99 at Amway Center
Final Thoughts: Denver Nuggets are gunning for their fifth straight win. Orlando Magic are on a back-to-back and coming off a heavy loss to another Western Conference heavyweight. The match also pits recent Nuggets trade acquisition Aaron Gordon against his former team for the first time.
The 30-18 Nuggets are fifth in the West and overwhelmed fellow big guns the 76ers (104-95) and Clippers (101-94) in their last two outings.
Jamal Murray (30 pts and 23 pts) top-scored in both wins, but the Nuggets’ impressive defensive effort was a key feature. Nikola Jokic remains their marquee performer, however, averaging 29.8 points, 11 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game.
The 17-32 Magic, 13th in the East, put together consecutive wins for the first time in almost six weeks, upsetting the Clippers (103-96) and Pelicans (115-110).
But a 131-97 drubbing at the hands of the Jazz put a dampener on those surprise successes. The Magic trailed by 38 points at the end of a dismal first half. on the bright side, rookie standout RJ Hampton – part of the trade deal to Denver for Gordon – had 12 pts and 8 rebounds.
The Nuggets are on a nine-game winning streak against the Magic, including a 110-99 result in Orlando two weeks ago.
Denver led by 22 at halftime before cruising to victory, Jockic (28 pts, 15 rebounds, 10 ast) racking up his 12th triple-double of the season.
The Magic are ranked 11th in the NBA for points conceded per game. But they are a bottom-three offensive unit. The Nuggets score the fourth-most points per game in the league.
Orlando have won their last two on a back-to-back but are just 7-17 on the road and could be in for a tough night against a Nuggets side that have won five of their last six at home.
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