DENVER (AP) — Ty Lawson scored 23 points, Arron Afflalo had 17 against his former team, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Orlando Magic 93-90 on Wednesday night for their third consecutive win.
The Nuggets also got a key contribution from Jusuf Nurkic, who had eight points in his first career start in place of Timofey Mozgov, who was traded to Cleveland earlier in the day in exchange for two first-round draft picks.
Nikola Vucevic scored 20 points for the Magic, who lost for the sixth straight time in Denver. Victor Oladipo had 17 points.
Evan Fournier, who was acquired by Orlando in the offseason as part of the trade bringing Afflalo back to Denver, had 14 points, but misfired on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
After Elfrid Payton’s jumper gave the Magic a 53-52 lead, the Nuggets ran off 10 straight points. Afflalo capped the run with a driving layup, and Denver carried a 63-58 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets got a boost from Nate Robinson, who scored each of his 13 points in the final period, including a pair of free throws that gave the Nuggets a 78-68 lead with 5:49 left.
Orlando got within five when Tobias Harris swished a 3-pointer, but Lawson answered with his third 3-pointer of the game.
The Magic rallied again with a trio of 3-pointers, including two by Andrew Nicholson. Orlando trailed 93-90 with 56.4 seconds left.
The Nuggets missed two long jumpers, giving Orlando a chance for a tying 3-pointer but Fournier’s attempt from beyond the arc went off the rim and out.
Trailing 40-39 at halftime, the Magic led for the first time in the game when Harris opened the third quarter by hitting a jumper.
Magic: Channing Frye failed to score in 19 1/2 minutes after he was listed as questionable because of elbow and triceps soreness. He was 0 for 5 from the floor. … After going winless during a three-game homestand, the Magic opened a four-game road trip.
Nuggets: The chance to build on the Nuggets’ roster through the acquisition of two first-round draft picks factored heavily in the team’s decision to trade Mozgov to the Cavs, general manager Tim Connelly said in a pregame news conference. “It’s never easy to trade a guy that does everything right, did everything we ask,” Connelly said. “We just thought the opportunity to get two future assets was too good to pass up.” He said the Nuggets’ frontcourt depth also figured in the decision.
Magic: Visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
Nuggets: Visit Sacramento on Friday night.
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