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Faried has big night for Nuggets in win over Magic

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The Canadian Press
1/11/2014 11:37:26 PM
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DENVER -- Denver's deep roster just keeps the Nuggets rolling.

Kenneth Faried had 17 points and nine rebounds, Randy Foye and Evan Fournier scored 18 points apiece, and Denver had seven players score at least 13 points in a 120-94 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.

Quincy Miller had 16 points and 11 rebounds -- both career highs -- and J.J. Hickson had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who have won five straight after losing eight in a row.

"I think they're handling it well right now," coach Brian Shaw said of the winning streak. "They're staying hungry and staying active. Our defence is off the charts. We don't seem to be getting too full of ourselves. "

The Nuggets have scored at least 120 points three times in the five-game winning streak, and they've done it despite attrition to their deep roster.

First, Andre Miller was excused from the team after yelling at Shaw during a loss to Philadelphia on Jan. 1. Since then, forward Wilson Chandler (left groin strain) and Anthony Randolph (sprained left ankle) have gone down.

The Nuggets have answered the adversity with a renewed focus.

"What happened with Andre, everybody realized we have to get together to win games," Fournier said.

Other players have stepped up, and Saturday it was Quincy Miller's turn. The second-year pro looked comfortable in his second start, two nights after checking NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant.

"That helped me a lot," Miller said. "KD is one of the best scorers ever and I held him to 30 after he scored 48."

Miller has impressed Shaw with his defence more than his offence, and with his ability to respond to playing time.

"He's getting opportunities and he's making the most of it," Shaw said. "He is getting more and more confident the more time that he gets out there on the floor. This is great for him."

Tobias Harris had 22 points and nine rebounds and Glen Davis scored 20 points for the Magic, who have dropped seven straight.

The Magic have lost the first four games on their five-game Western Conference road trip. They haven't scored 100 points in the last seven games, and things got tougher with the absence of leading scorer Arron Afflalo.

Afflalo, who played four seasons in Denver before being dealt to Orlando in the summer of 2012, strained his right foot in Friday's loss to Sacramento. He entered Pepsi Center wearing a walking boot, depriving Orlando of much-needed offence.

"It's real frustrating just because we've been losing," Harris said. "A lot of our guys are hurt right now. We have to stay together as a team. Stay positive."

Without Afflalo, the Magic didn't have enough firepower to match the suddenly rolling Nuggets.

It was apparent from the start.

Denver jumped out to a 34-19 lead in the first quarter with a 14-2 run. Ty Lawson and Fournier hit consecutive 3-pointers to push the advantage to double digits.

The Nuggets used a 10-2 run in the second quarter to go up 56-33. Orlando got within 15 twice, but Foye made it 69-47 at halftime.

Davis hit two early buckets in the third quarter to get the Magic within 16, but Foye's 3-pointer made it 81-60 and Hickson's hook shot gave the Nuggets an 86-60 lead with 4:20 to go in the period.

"It was a challenge the entire night," Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. "Their ability to get downhill and get in transition provided problems for us."

Bad went to worse when guard Jameer Nelson left the game in the second half with a hand injury and didn't return.

"We'll mend our bodies tomorrow and be ready for Dallas," Vaughn said.

Denver led 92-66 heading into the fourth.

With most of the starters on the bench for fourth, Denver led by as many as 36 points in the quarter.

NOTES: Chandler missed his second straight game. ... Vaughn said there is no timetable for Afflalo's return. ... Nuggets F Darrell Arthur left the game in the third quarter with a left groin strain and didn't return.

Kenneth Faried (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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