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