NOTE­BOOK

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

Nuggets: Den­ver is 3-9 on the road, in­clud­ing four losses in a row. … Stand­out cen­ter Nikola Jo­kic will miss his fourth con­sec­u­tive game with a sprained left an­kle, though coach Michael Malone re­mains op­ti­mistic that Jo­kic can re­turn at some point on this sixgame road trip. With­out Jo­kic, Malone tweaked his ro­ta­tion in Wed­nes­day’s loss to the Pelicans, start­ing Will Bar­ton at small for­ward, Wil­son Chan­dler at power for­ward and Ken­neth Faried at cen­ter while bring­ing Ma­son Plum­lee off the bench. … The Nuggets en­tered Thurs­day lead­ing the NBA in sec­ond-chance points (15.7 per game) and rank­ing fourth in points in the paint (48.5 per game). Or­lando en­tered Thurs­day ranked 29th in both op­po­nent sec­ond­chance points (14.6 per game) and op­po­nent points in the paint (49.1 per game).

Magic: This team was a feel-good story to start the sea­son but has since dropped 11 of its last 14 games. … Wing Evan Fournier, Or­lando’s sec­ond-lead­ing scorer at 18.3 points per game, is out with a sprained right an­kle. … Point guard El­frid Pay­ton, who missed the first meet­ing be­tween the Nuggets and Magic, is av­er­ag­ing 10.8 points and 6.7 as­sists per game. … Or­lando en­tered Thurs­day ranked 28th in the NBA in scor­ing de­fense (110.8 points al­lowed per game). — Gina Mizell, The Den­ver Post

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