The Utah Jazz came in to Denver with the worst record in the National Basketball League, but came away with a rare win in the Pepsi Center. Utah’s starting guards would outscore Denver’s 40-0, as the Jazz took home the victory, 103-93.
Wilson Chandler would start the Denver Nuggets off with a lay-up, putting the Nuggets up early. Utah would dominate the first quarter however, as Marvin Williams would answer with the three-ball. On back-to-back possessions, Richard Jefferson had the hot hand by hitting two three’s of his own. Derek Favors would lead a 6-0 Utah run with four points on two jump-shots, as the Jazz took the 16-9 lead forcing a Denver timeout. Utah would begin the game shooting 6-of-7 from the field, 85.7% percent, while 4-for-4 from downtown.
Wilson Chandler did his best to keep the Nuggets in the game in the first by knocking down another corner three, reducing the lead to six. Chandler would score ten points in the first quarter. The Utah Jazz would keep firing from all cylinders as second-year pro out of Colorado Alec Burks would convert the and one, as Utah led 29-21. The Nuggets would close out the quarter on a 6-2 run from the bench, trailing 33-28. The story of the first was the Jazz shooting, they would shoot 6-for-7 from behind-the-arc.
Denver’s defense wasn’t clicking in the first and showed no signs of life, as Gordon Hayward would score on back-to-back possessions, including an and one. Marvin Williams tried to keep Denver out of reach as he would knock down another three, pushing the Utah lead to eight. Wilson Chandler seemed to be the only Nuggets player that besides J.J. Hickson that came ready to play, as he pushed through the defense for the lay-up. The Jazz would continue to exploit the Nuggets defense as they finished the half on back-to-back dunks from Derrick Favors, taking the lead 53-44. The Jazz would cool off from deep, but still shot 7-of-14, 50.0% percent. Denver’s free-throw struggles would continue, as they shot 5-for-11 from the line, 45.5% percent.
Denver would begin the third quarter on a 12-2 run, as Wilson Chandler would continue to be a threat on the offensive end. Jordan Hamilton came off of the bench red-hot as he would nail a three, followed by a floater to give the Nuggets the first lead since they were ahead 4-3 in the first quarter. Hamilton would end the quarter on the fast-break getting the hoop and harm with 1.6 seconds left, converting the and one. Hamilton would shoot 4-for-4 and score 11 points as Denver outscored Utah 31-20 in the third quarter.
The Jazz would pull away with the game in the fourth quarter as Gordon Hayward would score 12 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth, putting away the Denver Nuggets 103-93. Ty Lawson would be ineffective as the guard played in 27 minutes earning a plus/minus of -30. He would go 0-6 from the field, with four assists and didn’t score. His fellow backcourt teammate Randy Foye would also struggle against his former team. The three-point specialist would shoot 0-for-3 from the field in 15 minutes of play. Bottom line is if Denver makes their free-throws, they would be in the game. The team would shoot a dismal 14-for-24 from the line, 58.3% percent.
The Nuggets continue their four-game homestand against the New Orleans Pelicans Sunday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 PM ET, 6:00 PM MT.