Bryn Forbes enjoys strong screens and leads bench unit as Denver Nuggets beat Orlando Magic | Nuggets

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DENVER — Bryn Forbes and the Nuggets bench built a big enough lead early on that Denver could hold off the Orlando Magic, 121-111, Monday at Ball Arena.

After leading by 22 early in the second quarter, the Nuggets let the Magic come back into the game behind 23 turnovers that led to 29 of Orlando’s points. Denver also gave up 71 points in the second half.

“Some of them were so negligent. Just a complete lack of basketball appreciation,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

“I’m just grateful the game was over and nobody got hurt – and we won. Honestly, there was nothing to gain from this game. We have not created good habits.

Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 26 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. Jeff Green and Will Barton III scored 17 goals each. Bryn Forbes led the bench with 16 points on seven shots, including a 3-for-4 mark for 3. DeMarcus Cousins ​​added nine points and five rebounds, while JaMychal Green scored seven points and grabbed as many rebounds. The greats from the bench combined for just one assist, but freed up Forbes for a few shots with solid screens.

“I am very grateful for these two. You know, big bodies that want to punch people and open me up,” Forbes said.

“A lot of shots, they should get a lot of credit. They do a lot of work to open me up and open up the other guys.

When told of Forbes’ appreciation, Cousins ​​replied “he better be.” Cousins ​​said his focus is on making things easier for guards, and picking a shooter like Forbes is a good start.

“Bryn is a great shooter,” Cousins ​​said. “We have guys who can shoot in that second unit, so I’m just trying to make their job a little easier. When their job becomes easy, it makes our job easy. We have put up some good screens and the guys are going to react.

Rookie Franz Wagner led the Magic with 26 points, while Wendell Carter Jr. added 25 points and 12 rebounds for Orlando.

The Nuggets held the Magic 23.8% from the field in the first quarter and led 29-14 to start the second quarter. The bench extended the lead to 22 early in the second.

“I think we’re starting to figure out how to move it, how to play with each other,” Forbes said of the second unit.

Orlando used a series of quick turnovers and attacks to close in 13 at halftime. The Nuggets finished the first half with eight assists and 12 turnovers.

“It’s not who we are,” Malone said. “Eight assists? And no disrespect to the Orlando Magic, but we’re not talking about the steel curtain there.

Forbes hit a floater just before the third quarter buzzer to give the Nuggets a 15-point advantage to start the fourth. Cousins ​​rolled for a powerful dunk early in the third before Forbes regained the lead on 19 with his third 3-pointer.

“Big momentum change,” Forbes said of the dunk. “I think that’s what he can bring with his passion and some big plays.”

The Nuggets are scheduled to play their last game before the All-Star break Wednesday at Golden State.

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