ORLANDO, Fla. — Nuggets head coach Michael Malone has been asking for reinforcements.
On Monday night, Denver finally got some.
More than 20 days after the first members of the team arrived in the Orlando bubble ahead of the anticipated restart of the 2020 NBA season, the Nuggets finally looked like themselves again. At least, in terms of the players on the floor, not so much with the result.
Denver lost to the Magic by a final score of 114-110, leaving a lot to be desired on the defensive end, even though they fielded their most complete team thus far.
Will Barton, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. all returned to action, while regulars Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, Torrey Craig, Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee played as well.
The only players who figure to see action on Saturday when the regular season restarts and didn't receive any scrimmage minutes were Gary Harris and Monte Morris.
On Monday night against the Magic, it was Murray leading the way with 23 points while making 3-6 shots from three-point range. Porter Jr. added 19 points and seven rebounds and Craig contributed 14 points. Jokic, the team's best player, was held scoreless in 23 minutes and took just one shot.
The Nuggets had a 43-22 record when play was suspended in March and will play eight regular-season games to help determine seeding before the NBA playoffs begin later in August.
It starts counting again on Saturday at 11 a.m. MST with Denver taking on the Miami Heat.