When: 5 p.m. Friday
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Fla.
TV/Radio: ALT, 950 AM
Spotlight on Aaron Gordon: The last time the Denver faced the Magic, Gordon was the NBA’s surprising leader in 3-point field-goal percentage. He has not quite sustained that high clip, but remains one of the league’s most improved players. The big man originally known for his immense athleticism is averaging 18.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 40.6 percent from 3-point distance. Denver, however, held Gordon to 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting (including 1-of-5 from beyond the arc) in the teams’ first meeting last month.
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 six-game 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 second-chance 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 their last 14 games. … Wing Evan Fournier, Orlando’s second-leading scorer at 18.3 points per game, is out contest 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).