Orlando Magic vs. Denver Nuggets Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 22nd 2023

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The Denver Nuggets overcame the early departure of their best player to snap a four-game road skid in their last outing.

With two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic back in the lineup, the Nuggets will look to record their second straight win on Wednesday night when they visit an Orlando Magic team that is on the rise.

Denver weathered the storm after Jokic was ejected in the first half and pulled out a 107-103 victory over the reeling Detroit Pistons on Monday night. Reggie Jackson collected 21 points and six assists and fellow ex-Piston Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 20 points to pace the Nuggets.

“We were desperate (Monday), because we were 0-2 on this road trip and we really needed a win,” Caldwell-Pope said. “We knew they were going to come out hard, because they hadn’t won a game in a while, but we got it did done.”

Christian Braun, who added 15 points and six rebounds, continues to provide a strong presence in the absence of the injured Jamal Murray. Braun has recorded four straight double-digit scoring performances since being held without a point in a 107-104 setback to the Houston Rockets on Nov. 12.

“That’s how we play. So, if a guy goes down, we still want to have the same mindset, obviously. We don’t have another Nikola on a bench. We don’t have another Jamal Murray on the bench,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “You need guys to step up and just to be the best version of themselves within what we do. And (Monday), I think we had quite a few guys step up and do that for us.”

Stepping back on the court will be Jokic, who boasts team-best averages in points (27.4), rebounds (13.1) and assists (8.7) this season.

Jokic drained a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining in Denver’s 119-116 victory over Orlando last season on Jan. 15. The Magic rebounded with a 115-104 win in Orlando on Feb. 9 to split the season series.

Now winners of four in a row, the Magic opened their six-game homestand with a 126-107 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday in an NBA in-season tournament game.

Although Paolo Banchero scored a game-high 25 points, he said he was more pleased with his team’s play at the other end of the court. Orlando recorded 12 steals and eight blocks while turning 24 Toronto turnovers into 31 points.

“That’s been our calling card the whole year,” Banchero told Bally Sports Florida, referring to the team’s defense. “We came into training camp wanting to be the No. 1 defense in the league, and that’s where we are right now. We just have to keep it up, keep locking it in one game at a time. We have a tough one (Wednesday), and we’ll have to come back and do it again.”

Jalen Suggs scored 18 points, Franz Wagner had 17 and Cole Anthony contributed 15 for the Magic on Tuesday.

Anthony collected 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in Orlando’s victory over Denver last season.

–Field Level Media

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