Nuggets beat Jazz, 103-93
DENVER — Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Jameer Nelson scored seven of his 17 points in the last four minutes and the Denver Nuggets held on to beat the Utah Jazz 103-93 on Tuesday night.
The Nuggets led by 17 with a minute left in the third quarter before the Jazz made their push. Rudy Gobert scored eight of his 11 in the fourth and Boris Diaw’s reverse layup cut the lead to 92-88 with 2:49 remaining.
But Denver countered with an 8-0 run and Nelson’s 3-pointer pushed the lead back to 100-88 with 1:17 remaining. The Nuggets held on from there for their fifth win in seven games.
Darrell Arthur added 16 points off the bench.
Derrick Favors scored 18, George Hill had 17 and Diaw added 16 for Utah.
Alec Burks, who played up the road from the Pepsi Center at the University of Colorado, had 13 points as he continues to work back from an ankle injury.
Utah lost on consecutive nights after winning six straight. The Jazz blew an eight-point lead in the fourth on Monday as Russell Westbrook hit a game-winning jumper with 1.4 seconds to lift division rival Oklahoma City to a 97-95 win.
The Jazz looked drained most of Tuesday.
The Nuggets outscored the Jazz 41-17 in the last 14 minutes of the half to take a 51-39 lead. Arthur made three consecutive 3-pointers as part of an 11-0 run and Jokic had four of his 10 points in the half in the last 41 seconds.
Jazz: The Jazz fell to 17-6 with Hill in the lineup. They are 10-0 when he scores 20 or more points in a game. . SG Rodney Hood (knee) missed his fifth consecutive game.
Nuggets: Jokic has 16 double-doubles in his last 24 games. … PG Emmanuel Mudiay missed his second straight game because of lower back soreness. “Obviously his back is still bothering him,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “There is no need to rush him back.”
SLOW AND STEADY
The Jazz came into Tuesday’s game ranked 29th in the league in offensive pace (93.5) and 27th in points per game (99.6), but still lead the Northwest Division.
“Golden State sets the bar with their pace and they’re so explosive offensively, it’s easy to say that’s the way you should play because it’s effective,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “But it’s effective for Golden State. It wouldn’t be effective for us.”
A stingy defense has also proved effective for the Jazz. They rank second in defensive efficiency (101.3).
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