DENVER — If a teammate ever asks for advice on whether to play with an injury, Arron Afflalo says he usually answers the question something like this: "If you can play, get out there and play. If you're going to [play halfway], sit down and recover."
Afflalo took his own advice Saturday night.
He sat out the Orlando Magic's game against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center because of what team officials are labeling a strained right foot.
"It's probably best for me to try to get myself completely healthy with all the nagging injuries I have, whether it's one game or two games or whatever it may be so I can get mentally refreshed and come back on it strong," Afflalo said before tipoff.
Afflalo injured his right foot and ankle less than 24 hours earlier during the Magic's 103-83 loss to the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena.
He suffered the injury with 4:47 remaining in the third quarter and the Magic trailing 64-51.
After the Kings' Isaiah Thomas missed a 3-pointer, Jameer Nelson collected the rebound and immediately passed the ball ahead to Afflalo.
Afflalo sprinted upcourt, side-stepped Sacramento's Rudy Gay near the hoop and twisted his right ankle as he elevated for a layup.
Afflalo remained in the game and even played three-plus minutes in the fourth quarter, but he was limping badly after the game ended. X-rays taken at the arena revealed no fractures.
"It was definitely sore when I first took those steps out of bed but not a whole lot of swelling," Afflalo said. "I'm usually pretty good with injuries that aren't major. My body kind of recovers pretty quickly for things that I can play through."
Afflalo is the Magic's leading scorer, averaging 20.8 points per game.
With Afflalo out and with center Nik Vucevic missing his third consecutive game because of a concussion, Magic coach Jacque Vaughn had to shuffle his starting lineup against the Nuggets.
He started Nelson, Victor Oladipo, Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris and Glen Davis.
It was the team's 12th different starting lineup of the season.
Harkless hadn't started a game since Nov. 24.
"He's continued to be a true professional and learn what this thing's about, the approach that you have to have every day," Vaughn said. "We talked about a week ago about how he's learning how to be successful as far as his preparation is concerned and all the little things — the details — that go into being successful on the floor."
First-year Nuggets coach Brian Shaw played three seasons for the Magic during the mid-1990s and was a part of the team that reached the 1995 NBA Finals.
"I absolutely loved Orlando," Shaw said before tipoff. "That's the first place that I actually bought a house. ... I love to fish, so that's where I bought my first Ranger bass fishing boat. I lived on a lake and I was fishing every day."
As Shaw was talking to the media, the sound of yelling filled the hallway inside Pepsi Center from the Nuggets' locker-room area.
It was Nuggets point guard Nate Robinson, a native of the state of Washington, cheering on the Seattle Seahawks during their playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.
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