Denver Nuggets-Utah Jazz Gameday

by Aaron Lopez

Gallinari, Faried shine as Nuggets race past Jazz

By Aaron J. Lopez,

Posted Jan. 6 2013 00:05

The goals were redemption and rest.

The Denver Nuggets accomplished the first early in the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz, making the second a reality heading into a Sunday showdown in Los Angeles.

Danilo Gallinari scored 26 points in 32 minutes, while Andre Iguodala added 18 points to help Denver pull away for a 110-91 win over the Jazz in front of a sellout crowd Saturday night at Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets (19-16) erased the memory of a disappointing loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves and built a 24-point lead that allowed coach George Karl to sit his rotation players for most of the final quarter.

“It was a bounceback game to play the right way and play with some passion and intensity,” Karl said. “I thought we got everything we wanted to do.”

The Nuggets, who improved to 11-2 at home, never trailed after halftime. The Jazz pulled within eight late in the third quarter, but Andre Miller hit a corner 3 that pushed the lead back to double-digits heading into the fourth.

Pushing the ball in the open court, Iguodala helped Denver extend the lead in the final quarter as the Jazz ran out of gas while playing the second of back-to-back games. The Nuggets hope to have something left in the tank for Sunday’s game against the Lakers at Staples Center.

“It was good for us to not only just get the win, but to get the win and give us some confidence going into (Sunday),” Iguodala said. “It might be a really important game for us to get a good start. (The Lakers) will be waiting for us and they’ve been struggling, so we know they want to play well, especially at home.”

The Nuggets defended their home court by defending well throughout the night. Utah big men Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap combined to shoot 8-of-25 from the field, and the Jazz shot a season-low .359 overall.

Denver also controlled the paint, outscoring Utah 54-24 near the rim.

“We didn’t play very well,” Jazz coach Ty Corbin said. “When you shoot 35 percent and give up 54-to-24 points in the paint, that’s not a good effort.”

There was no questioning the effort of Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried, who went to the hospital Friday to receive treatment for a stomach flu and dehydration. He missed the morning shootaround, but looked rested and ready at game time.

Faried scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season, which is tied for 11th in the NBA.

“I didn’t want anybody to get sick, so I just tried to stay isolated from my teammates (during the day),” Faried said. “But they needed me during the game so I’ve got to come do my job.”

Gallinari also showed some determination. Upset with his performance against Minnesota, he kept the Jazz off-balance by hitting perimeter shots and drawing fouls on drives to the rim.
After missing his first three shots from the field, Gallinari hit seven of his final eight shots and converted 11 of 12 free throws.

“I was just trying to be aggressive and trying to go to the line because I thought I didn’t do a very good job in the game we lost at home to Minnesota,” he said. “I was trying to be better in that part of the game.”

Gallinari enjoyed the luxury of sitting out the entire fourth quarter as the Nuggets emptied their bench.

“That’s what we would like to have every time you have a back-to-back,” he said. “It was very important to do that. Even though we rested, it’s going to be tough, especially against the Lakers at the Staples Center. We want to be ready like we were tonight.”

Notes: Nuggets point guard Julyan Stone made season debut after missing first 34 games recovering from a hip injury. He had two points, two rebounds and an assist in 5:27 … Denver has won 21 straight home games when scoring at least 100 points … Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler (hip) has been practicing with the team for about a week and said he is on target to play Jan. 13 against Golden State.


Danilo Gallinari

Points 26, 7-11 FG, 11-12 FT
Rebounds 5, 1 OFF 4 DEF
Assists 3
Steals 1
Blocks 0


Points Gallinari 26
Rebounds Kosta Koufos 13
Assists Andre Miller 6
Steals Paul Millsap 4
Blocks Millsap 3


Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari on motivation to beat the Utah Jazz

"I thought I didn’t do a very good job of being a leader and an important player in the last game. The last game got into my head and we wanted to come out strong and win this game more than anything."


Andre Miller's 3-pointer gives Nuggets a cushion at end of third quarter

The Jazz were on an 8-2 run late in the third quarter when Miller hit his fifth 3-pointer of the season with 1.4 seconds left to give the Nuggets an 11-point lead heading to the fourth.


Postgame Quotes

Nuggets coach George Karl

On if it’s a good thing that all 13 players played:

“Yeah I guess so. I thought it was a bounce back game. We played it the right way with some passion and intensity. We did what we wanted to do. Obviously Utah played last night and when the game got up to 13 and they cut it back down to four or five, and we got it back up. We were executing our offense really well and they didn’t get anybody hot going. We did a good job on their post ups and defensively we were sound the whole game. Fortunately we had an easy win and now we need to go down to LA and figure out how to beat them.”

On the Nuggets’ intensity in the third quarter:
“I thought the end of the second quarter, the game was breaking our way a little bit. I thought we were wearing them down a little bit and just in general, I thought the game, we did what we were supposed to do and we did it pretty well.”

On Kenneth Faried playing sick:
“Our big guys were really good. I thought JaVale [McGee], Kenneth [Faried] and Kosta [Koufos], all three of them played at a high level against three guys that are NBA starters. They are all taking the challenge and bouncing back. I thought the last three days have made me confident in this team that they do understand, as when you blow a game, sometimes you don’t think they do.”

On Danilo Gallinari’s play:
“I thought he is getting a little tired of me yelling at him about holding the ball and not playing catch-and-go basketball; Andre [Iguodala] was very good in the second half, and I thought [Danilo] Gallinari was excellent in the first half from that standpoint. I thought Ty [Lawson] and everyone had their piece of creating a good tempo offensively. Our big guys did a good job of staying under the defense and getting the offensive rebounds and the easy put ins. We get 30 points on the front line when they get about the same, so I thought that was probably their strength and we negated it. The only thing I was a little disappointed in was turnovers. Andre [Miller] got in to a little bit of a turnover game in the fourth quarter and [Danilo] Gallinari had a couple of turnovers. We have been doing really well; that was an emphasis six weeks ago.”

Nuggets guard/forward Andre Iguodala

On the effect of the loss vs. the Timberwolves Thursday night:
“I think it hurt because we could have played a lot better. I feel like we got a game stolen from us. Our focus was really good this morning at shoot-around and I think it carried over to the game.”

On open court game in fourth quarter:
“I kind of felt tight during the game, just trying to stick to the game plan and in the fourth I just really got confident. I got in that loosey-goosey mode where everything was kind of just working.”

On ball fake that tricked the Jazz defense:
“It just cleared out. Sometimes it works like that and worked in our favor.”

On having a bounce-back game and being ready for the L.A. Lakers:
“It was good for us to not only just get the win, but to get the win and give us some confidence going into tomorrow. It might be a really important game for us to get a good start. They [Lakers] will be waiting for us and they’ve been struggling so we know they want to play well, especially at home.”

Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried

On getting treatment for flu:
“I actually didn’t take anything to feel better. I went to the hospital yesterday to the ER and got an IV and medication to help my stomach from getting so upset, and also to help with dehydration. It paid off a lot but I still felt kind of queasy. It was up to me to be a game-time decision and decide what I wanted to do. I’m not going to miss another game so we don’t have to worry about that. It was real tough for me to bounce-back but my teammates were really encouraging, telling me to get my rest because they are going to need me tomorrow.”

On shaking off the loss from Thursday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves:
“Extremely big; it was a tough loss because Minnesota came in basically to our house and beat us, and it’s tough to beat us here [in Denver.] They [Timberwolves] really handed it to us. They woke us up. We are a young team, and it really helped wake us up and got us going for this game.”

On game vs. L.A. Lakers Sunday night:
“It’s going to be a physical game with a lot of anger and a lot emotion from last game. It’s going to be fun for me. I like that kind of play and I am just going to play my game.”

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin

On tonight’s game:

“We didn’t play very well. When you shoot 35 percent in the field and give up 54 to 24 points in the paint, that’s not a good effort.”

On the play at the end of the third quarter:
“It would of been a six point ball game going into the fourth game quarter. So instead of us getting a basket, they come out and score and now we are down ten or eleven. It was a big play and instead of being down six, you are down eleven. They got the momentum coming back and that first possession of the fourth period so I thought it was a big play.”

On referee’s explanation of that call:
“He held onto the rim. I thought if they foul you going to the basket then you have the right to brace yourself and he grabbed the rim so he wouldn’t flip and they didn’t see it that way.”

On energy levels:
“I don’t think we had the energy tonight and we couldn’t keep guys in front of us at any position really. We struggled and it wasn’t one of our better performances.”

On the cause of the loss:
“You could say it is back-to-back or travel and all of that but that’s what the NBA is. We knew what we were facing and we have to fight our way through that and we just didn’t.”

Jazz guard Randy Foye

On the loss:
“They [the Nuggets] played really well tonight; they shared the ball and they didn’t run as much as we thought they were going to run. They played pretty well on their home floor.”

On Denver’s bigs:
“Kenneth Faried is real active. JaVale McGee is really long and their other bigs just play really hard and smart. They did a good job tonight.”

On Gordon Hayward’s waived off dunk:
“For me, if he didn’t hang on the rim, he would have hurt himself. He hung on the rim and kind of blocked the ball in."

Jazz guard Gordon Hayward

On his waved off dunk:
“I knew someone was going to come in and try and block it. I think there was a little contact, that’s why I hung onto the rim. I didn’t want to get undercut or anything. For whatever reason, [the referee] thought I caused the ball to go in, and you’ve just got to live with that.”

On Denver’s offense:
“You’ve got to give them [Nuggets] credit because they knocked down some shots. We gave them way too many points in the paint and we let them get a rhythm going on the free-throw line as well. We’ve just got to be better.”

On Denver’s bigs:

“They’ve got a lot of bigs; guys that can finish at the rim and also guys that can knock down shots from the perimeter. Once they get going, they are a tough team to guard and we let them get going.”



• Danilo Gallinari had a game-high 26 points and five rebounds in tonight’s victory, marking the 16th time he has hit those numbers in the same game in his career. He has done so four times this season with the Nuggets going 4-0 in those games. Additionally, the Nuggets are 8-0 at the Pepsi Center when Gallinari scores 20+ points in his career.

• Additionally Gallinari hit 7-of-11 shots from the floor and 11-of-12 from the charity stripe in tonight’s game. It is the 12th time in his career he has shot above .650 from the field and above .900 from the free throw line in the same game.

• Kenneth Faried scored 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds tonight. It marks the fifth time in his career that he has scored 15+ points and recorded 10+ rebounds while shooting .700 or above, with the Nuggets going 4-1 in those games (second time this season).

• Faried recorded his 15th double-double this season (27th career). It is the 16th time in his career Faried has posted a double-double at the Pepsi Center, with Denver going 15-1 in those games.

• Kosta Koufos scored eight points on 4-of-6 shooting and recorded a game-high 13 rebounds. It is the 13th time in his career that he has recorded 10+ boards (fourth this season; Denver 3-1). In the past two games, Koufos has averaged 12.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and shot 12-of-16 (.750) from the field.

• Paul Millsap scored 15 points, recorded seven boards, registered four steals, and blocked three shots. It is the first time in his career that he has reached those numbers in the same game.


• The Nuggets held Utah to 28-of-78 shooting (.359) in tonight’s victory. It marks the 12th time this season the Nuggets have held an opponent under 40% shooting (10-2). It is the lowest percentage Utah has shot this season.

• By beating the Jazz 110-91, Denver has now won 21-straight games at the Pepsi Center when scoring 100+ points.

• Additionally, Denver improved to 15-3 on the season when holding opponents under 100 points.

• As a team, the Nuggets attempted 39 free throws in tonight’s victory. Denver is now 6-1 on the season when attempting 30+ free throws.

• The Denver starters accounted for 81 points in tonight’s victory. It is the third time this season (all three in last six games) that the Nuggets starters have scored 80+ points (Denver 3-0).

• The Nuggets outrebounded Utah 48-to-41, moving to 16-7 (9-1 at home) when outrebounding their opponents.

• The Nuggets shot 39-of-76 (.513) tonight, improving to 4-0 at home when shooting above 50%.

• Denver recorded 20 second-chance points tonight, marking the 12th time they have had 20+ second-chance points this season (10-2).

• The Nuggets held Utah to 24 points in the paint, tying the fewest by an opponent this season (11/15/12 vs. MIA).

• Additionally by beating Utah by 19 points, Denver now accounts for two of Utah’s three worst losses on the season.