Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/10

Game 1: Saturday, December 10th
Nuggets83Final
Magic94
Game 2: Saturday, March 4th
Magic94Final
Nuggets110

Magic 94

(20-39, 6-25 away)

Nuggets 110

(32-28, 20-12 home)

    Coverage: ALT

    7:00 PM ET, March 4, 2006

    Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 28 21 24 2194
    DEN 33 20 29 28110

    Top Performers

    Orlando: J. Nelson 10 Pts, 3 Reb, 10 Ast, 2 Stl

    Denver: R. Patterson 21 Pts, 5 Reb, 8 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Nuggets send Magic to 17th loss in last 19

    DENVER (AP) -- If not for their four-team trade last month, the Denver Nuggets might have been just as sluggish as the Orlando Magic were Saturday night.

    Newly acquired Ruben Patterson and Reggie Evans provided the power and the pep in Denver's 110-94 rout of the Magic, who lost for the 12th straight time on the road.

    Patterson's 21 points and eight assists were his most in both categories since joining the Nuggets from Portland on Feb. 23, and Evans' 12 points and 10 boards marked his best output since coming over from Seattle that same day.

    "It's not necessarily how well you play the game, it's how you play the game," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We've had too many up-and-down energy games and I think when (general manager) Kiki (Vandeweghe) and I evaluated Ruben and Reggie, these guys don't have many down games.

    "They play the game with a playoff passion almost every night. And I think we need everybody to get that spark, to get that spirit. Because I think we can be a very good team if we do get it."

    Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points and Earl Boykins snapped out of a shooting slump with 21, easily making up for the absence of forward Kenyon Martin (knee), who was replaced by Francisco Elson in the starting lineup.

    Grant Hill scored 19 points for the Magic, who have won just two of their last 19 overall.

    "I thought we played sluggish and tired all night long," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "I just thought the energy wasn't there. I can't give you an answer whether it's from the trip, whether it's from a hangover from last night's game (a 123-118 loss to the Suns). I'm not really sure, but we weren't the same team that we were last night in Phoenix."

    Hill wouldn't blame the tough back-to-back tip-offs, either.

    "They had to play last night in Houston," Hill said. "And they were playing tonight, they had energy."

    Thanks in large part to the newcomers.

    Evans managed his fifth double-double of the year despite coming off the bench, and Patterson was out to atone for his 2-for-12 shooting performance at Houston 24 hours earlier in which he managed just six points.

    "The good thing about the NBA is you've got another game tomorrow, and that's what I did tonight," Patterson said.

    "We ran, got a lot of dunks and layups. Carmelo was telling me he was tired, but I told him he's too young to be tired; he's got to pick it up. He's 21. I'm 30. He picked it up a little bit."

    Responded Anthony: "Pain and tiredness don't have no age. I'll tell anybody that."

    Anthony, who scored 34 points against Houston but got almost no help from his teammates, was glad to share the load against the Magic.

    "I think last night they saw how hard it was for me out there, making everything, doing everything and them not coming through, but tonight we spread the wealth and as a result we won the game," Anthony said.

    Coming off a season-low 78-point performance at Houston a night earlier, the Nuggets surpassed that total on Anthony's jumper late in the third quarter that gave Denver a 79-67 lead.

    The Nuggets' 10-point first-half lead dwindled to a point when Dwight Howard's bucket pulled the Magic to 59-58 in the third quarter. Behind Anthony's dozen points, Denver used a 23-11 run to take an 82-69 lead.

    Boykins did most of his work in the fourth quarter after Orlando made one last push, pulling to 84-77. Boykins responded by scoring eight straight points, and Patterson's breakaway dunk made it 94-79 with 8½ minutes remaining.

    In his second game back since missing 20 games with a sprained right foot, Jameer Nelson had 10 points and 10 assists for Orlando, which slipped to 20-39.

    "I don't know whether it's because we have new guys or we're just tired," Nelson said. "But I think we'll get together and we'll fight through this. ... That's why we're professionals. We're supposed to be able to handle any situation in this sport that we love."

    Game notes


    The Nuggets are 11-4 without Martin, who is averaging 14 points and 6.8 rebounds, in the lineup. Despite Martin's absence, Denver outrebounded Orlando 41-26. ... Howard had 15 points and 11 rebounds for his 43rd double-double this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    ORL
    DEN
    Points 94 110
    FGM-FGA 35-75 (.467) 48-85 (.565)
    3PM-3PA 1-8 (.125) 2-5 (.400)
    FTM-FTA 23-31 (.742) 12-17 (.706)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-26 12-41
    Assists 23 31
    Turnovers 17 16
    Steals 8 8
    Blocks 6 7
    Fast Break Points 8 21
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/1) 25 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 2 17

    Top Performers

    Orlando
    Denver
    Jameer Nelson Nelson
    Points: 10
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Ruben Patterson Patterson
    Points: 21
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1