National Basketball Association
Denver at Orlando
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 10, 2016
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
The Orlando Magic hope to swing their see-saw season back in the positive direction when they host the struggling Denver Nuggets on Saturday night. The Magic put together a strong road trip with four wins in five games, including an inspiring victory against San Antonio, but lost at home by 30 against Boston on Wednesday before Friday’s 109-88 setback at Charlotte.
“We have a very slim margin for error,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel told reporters. “We’ve gotta get guys to play more the right way more often.” The Magic could be without centers Nikola Vucevic (back) and Bismack Biyombo (shoulder), who both left Friday’s game and will be re-evaluated Saturday, when they play their fourth game in five days. The Nuggets are sinking as well with losses in five of their last six and seven of nine after a 92-85 loss at Washington on Thursday, falling to 1-3 on their six-game road trip. Denver’s fourth-leading scorer Emmanuel Mudiay (13.1) missed the last contest with an ankle injury and is questionable for Saturday.TV:
7 p.m. ET, Altitude2 (Denver), FSN Florida (Orlando)ABOUT THE NUGGETS (8-15):
Denver recorded a season-high 29 turnovers and its second least points of the season Thursday without Mudiay, as leading scorer Wilson Chandler (18 points per game) was limited to 2-of-16 from the field in the setback. Second-leading scorer Danilo Gallinari (16.2) is also struggling while making just 13-of-41 from the floor over the last four contests and Will Barton (14.3) is 2-of-15 from 3-point range in a two-game span. Center Nikola Jokic boasts four consecutive double-doubles, sandwiching a three-game stretch when he was injured.ABOUT THE MAGIC (10-14):
Orlando has been among the better defensive teams in the league much of the season, but gave up an average of 113 points the last two games while shooting below 38 percent from the field in both. Leading scorers Evan Fournier (16.6), who takes on the team he began his career with, and Serge Ibaka (14.2) registered 14 and 12 points, respectively, against Charlotte. Reserve forward Jeff Green (8.6 points) also turned his ankle during the game Friday, but Vogel told reporters that he could have gone back in if needed.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Denver F Kenneth Faried did not play against Washington, but coach Michael Malone told reporters it was because of the matchup and he is not out of the rotation.
2. Orlando G Jodie Meeks was 0-for-8 from the field for four points Friday after averaging 11 in his first four games of the season, following a return from a foot injury.
3. The Magic won both matchups last season, including a 116-110 triumph in Orlando.PREDICTION:
Magic 110, Nuggets 95
Stats and Records