The Rundown: Nuggets overcome Suns, Magic win 9th straight

Published December 2, 2023, 3:30 PMPolo Bustamante

Nikola Jokic helped the Nuggets beat the Suns while the Magic won their ninth straight game.



Magic 130, Wizards 125

Grizzlies 108, Mavericks 94

Knicks 119, Raptors 106

Celtics 125, 76ers 119

Pelicans 121, Spurs 106

Nuggets 119, Suns 111

What went down

It was a battle between two playoff contenders out West with the Denver Nuggets looking to keep their winning streak alive and the Phoenix Suns aiming to bounce back.

Midway through the game, it seemed like the defending champs would run away with an easy win over the short-handed Suns. They were up by 16 points a few minutes before halftime. But in the second half, Phoenix came storming back. 

Interestingly, it wasn’t Kevin Durant who led the charge for the Suns. In fact, he couldn’t even buy a bucket in the second half, missing all 10 of his attempts from the field. It was Jusuf Nurkic, teaming up with Eric Gordon and Grayson Allen, who brought the Suns back into the game.

In the end, it was Nikola Jokic who came up big for the Nuggets. Up by only four with less than a minute left in the game, he spun past his defender out on the perimeter and got to the hoop, flipping up a dagger to put the Nuggets up by six.

Jokic finished the game with 21 points and 16 assists. Nurkic led the Suns with 31 points. Durant still managed to finish with 30 points despite missing 17 of his 25 attempts in the game.

Big-time baller

Even though Durant had an abysmal second half, he was still able to achieve a milestone today. Late in the first half, he took it strong to the hole, eliminating Reggie Jackson in the process to get a tough bucket in the paint.

That shot moved him into the top 10 of the league’s all-time scoring list, rising up above Moses Malone.

Durant is now just behind Carmelo Anthony with 27,423 career points.

What he said

The Orlando Magic have tied the franchise record for most consecutive wins. They’re currently on a nine-game streak after their win today over the Washington Wizards. Franz Wagner led the way with a 31-7-8 line while Paolo Banchero backed him up with 28 points and 13 rebounds.

RELATED: Believing in the Magic

This is a young group that should be celebrating a momentous achievement. But they’ve got their eyes on a bigger prize.

Did you see that?

Patrick Beverley met one of his biggest, if not his biggest fans today.

Despite the loss, it was a good day for Beverley and that fan. Playing without Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, the Philadelphia 76ers fought hard against the East-leading Boston Celtics. Beverley led the way for the Sixers with 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting.

Extra pass

It’s a battle of two MVP candidates as the Oklahoma City Thunder, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, face off against the Dallas Mavericks and Luka Doncic.

The Thunder are coming off a huge win over LeBron James and the LA Lakers. They’re looking to keep their winning ways going by taking down another big name in Doncic. 

This game is also a big one for Gilgeous-Alexander. He’s not as high in the MVP conversation as Doncic but his impact on the Thunder is undeniable, averaging a 30-6-6 line on 54 percent shooting. Because of his leadership, Oklahoma City is third in the West with a 12-6 record.

On the other hand, this game is a great way to bounce back for the Mavericks after a trap game loss to the Memphis Grizzlies with Doncic sitting out. Doncic playing well not only strengthens his MVP resume, it also helps the Mavericks steer clear of the play-in bubble.

Watch as these two young guards battle it out live at 10:00 AM on NBA TV Philippines and via NBA League Pass.