|Orlando Magic forward Glen Davis, left, runs into Denver Nuggets forward Corey Brewer as he pulls in a loose ball in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver, Sunday, April 22, 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)|
McGee, Gallinari lead Nuggets past Magic
DENVER—JaVale McGee scored 17 points, throwing down a half-dozen dunks in the second half, and the Denver Nuggets pulled away to beat the Orlando Magic 101-74 on Sunday night
Danilo Gallinari also scored 17, Arron Afflalo had 15 and Ty Lawson 13 for the Nuggets, who swept the two-game season series with Orlando, avoiding the Magic's injured Dwight Howard both times.
Ryan Anderson scored 24 points for the Magic, who lost their third straight. Glen Davis added 14 points for Orlando, which also lost guard Jameer Nelson to a calf injury. He left the game in the first quarter and did not return.
Howard, who missed Orlando's April 1 loss to Denver because of back spasms, is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery last week to repair a herniated disk in his lower back.
Breaking away from a halftime tie, the Nuggets had a 67-58 advantage when Andre Miller capped a 6-0 burst with a 17-foot jumper with 2:30 left in the third.
Denver took a 73-62 lead into the fourth quarter -- its biggest lead to that point -- after consecutive dunks in the last minute of the third by McGee off alley-oop passes from Miller.
Orlando fought back within 75-69 on Ish Smith's driving layup with 9:22 left, but the Nuggets got their inside game going again. Kenneth Faried and McGee took turns muscling in dunks to go up 79-69 with 8:17 remaining.
McGee jammed home a couple more dunks as the Nuggets moved to a 93-74 lead with 3:10 left to play.
Lawson's driving layup with 50 seconds left in the second quarter forged a 44-all tie at halftime. Denver was leading 24-19 after the first period, but Orlando put together a 12-2 run to go in front 35-31. Anderson hit two 3-pointers during the surge.
NOTES: Nuggets forward Al Harrington, one of the league's top sixth men who has been playing through a torn meniscus in his right knee, was given the night off. It's the first time he's missed a game this season. Coach George Karl said in a pregame news conference that Harrington probably will play in only one of the team's two remaining regular-season games to try to get him in the best possible shape for the playoffs. ... The Magic, who lost in overtime at Utah on Saturday, were 18-18 in back-to-back sets this season.