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#78 - Denver Nuggets vs. Orlando Magic

On the day before Thanksgiving, the defending NBA champions Denver Nuggets faced off against the Orlando Magic in downtown Orlando at the Amway Center. This game was significant as it marked the first time former Orlando Magic player Aaron Gordon returned to play against the team that drafted him. Often a sore spot for Magic fans is that when the home team franchise player leaves the squad, they tend to end up in a better situation. For Gordon it was the best situation ever and landed him his first NBA ring.

Nonetheless, the energy was high at shoot-around: Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Gordon were a few of the Nuggets players that were getting loose before tipoff. Murray did not play in the game due to a lingering hamstring injury. The Magic did not go through their usual on court shoot-around activities as this was a back to back game for them after defeating the visiting Toronto Raptors the previous night.

Even with a slow start to the first quarter, the Magic young core found their footing and kept the game from getting out of hand. The Nuggets led 62-56 at halftime led by the frontrunner for league MVP and all around basketball savant Nikola Jokic. Franz Wagner led the charge for the Magic from the start of the second half along with Paolo Banchero and we got to see major production from Cole Anthony coming off the bench with the second unit. In the fourth quarter the Nuggets and Magic battled for the lead, making for an exciting end of the game as the Magic looked composed down the stretch. Jalen Suggs had a moment where he got wrapped up with Jokic and after breaking loose got the crowd pumped, the intensity felt like a NBA playoff game.

Notable: the Magic bench outscored the Nuggets bench 58-25, their depth definitely shined in the second half. The Magic won the game 124-119.

After the game and during the post game conference, Orlando Magic Coach Jamahl Mosley stressed that this young team buys into playing for each other and wanting to win with one another. Franz Wagner concurred with that sentiment, sharing that the team gets along well at practice and other team activities. All of this helps develop the team chemistry they share out on the court.

The Magic are now owners of a 5 game win streak and will face off against the Boston Celtics on Friday at the Amway Center during their In-Season Tournament matchup.

More visuals of our coverage can be seen on our IG (@9450global)


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