Utah 132, Denver 105

SALT LAKE CITY, March 8 (AP) -- First, Mehmet Okur drove through the Denver Nuggets with the swiftness of a guard. Then, the 6-foot-11 Utah center went outside and started shooting like a guard, too.

Okur hit a career-high six 3-pointers while leading the Jazz to a 132-105 rout of the Nuggets, extending Utah's lead over Denver in the Northwest Division.

Okur went 9-for-11 from the field, making his first six 3s and only missing one. He had four 3s as the Jazz pulled away with 43 points in the second quarter. Okur's only baskets inside 23-feet were a short jumper and two layups, when Okur split the defense and drove for a layup each time.

"He has such a unique dimension he brings to our team,'' said Utah's Kyle Korver, who added two 3-pointers and finished with 12 points. "I don't care who you are. If somebody's hitting that many 3s it's deflating.''

Deron Williams, who had his seventh straight double-double with 16 assists and 14 points, Carlos Boozer had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Okur finished with 27 points and 11 boards in Utah's 18th straight home win, one short of the team record.

Utah has a four-game lead on Denver in the Northwest Division. Had the Jazz lost, they would only be up two games on the Nuggets and whoever comes in second could miss the playoffs.

The Jazz outrebounded the Nuggets 43-30, had 36 assists Denver's 16 and flustered the Nuggets into two technicals and one flagrant foul.

Allen Iverson scored 28 and Carmelo Anthony added 24 points for the Nuggets, who fell to 1-2 against Utah this season. The Nuggets have 20 games left to try to catch the Jazz, including another meeting in Utah on April 12.

The Nuggets were coming off a 109-96 win at home over the Spurs after trailing by eight at halftime Friday night in Denver. That composure didn't seem to make the short flight. The Nuggets visit the Spurs on Monday.

"It's important for us to take all of the positive things we did tonight - what little positive things there were - to San Antonio and leave the negative here,'' said Iverson, who played with a sprained finger on his right hand.

The Jazz played in Phoenix on Friday and outran the Suns 126-118, then kept up the pace Saturday back at home.

Okur made his first six 3-pointers for a career high and finished 6-for-7. Kyle Korver and C.J. Miles added two 3-pointers each as the Jazz went 11-for-15 from beyond-the-arc.

Paul Millsap had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Matt Harpring scored 10 for the Jazz, who went 50-for-83 from the field.

Denver shot 50 percent in the first half, yet trailed by 23 at halftime after the Jazz made 15 of 21 shots in the second quarter.

"I've never seen Utah shoot the ball as well as they are shooting the ball right now,'' Denver coach George Karl said.

The Nuggets helped a little by Utah also got two bonus points because of technical fouls on Anthony and Linas Kleiza in the second quarter.

Anthony got an offensive foul with just 22 seconds left when he elbowed Korver in the jaw. It got even worse for the Nuggets when Anthony Carter was called for a flagrant foul when he stopped Boozer from getting a layup. Kleiza complained and was called for a technical. Korver made the technical free throw and Boozer went 1-for-2, giving the Jazz a 77-54 halftime lead.

"We came out from the start and had a great game,'' Williams said. "Memo was good in that first half and he couldn't miss.''

Denver only fell further behind in the third as the Jazz continued to shoot well. Utah led 108-75 at the end of the third and there wasn't much anticipation in the fourth. Utah's starters were on the bench for the last 4 minutes and Denver's had left the game long before that.

J.R. Smith scored 16 and Kleiza had 14 points for Denver.

Notes: Iverson scored half of Denver's 26 points in the first quarter. ... Kenyon Martin did not return after taking an elbow from Okur about 9 minutes into the game. The Nuggets said later the Martin had a mild concussion. ... Okur's previous high for 3-pointers in a game was five, set against Memphis in January. ... Utah tied a team record with eight 3-pointers in the first half. ... Utah played its third straight game without F Andrei Kirilenko (hip).


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