Second-quarter drought dooms Nuggets in Las Vegas

Utah 87, Denver 69
by Aaron Lopez

A desert drought did in the Denver Nuggets.

The Nuggets went more than six minutes without scoring in the second quarter Tuesday night and never recovered in an 87-69 loss to the Utah Jazz at the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Rookie Gary Harris scored 18 points and Erick Green added 13 for the Nuggets, who finished preliminary play 1-2. They will begin single-elimination play on Wednesday against the NBA D-League Select team.

Denver jumped out to a 24-21 lead after one quarter and was tied at 26 before going scoreless for a 6:30 stretch of the second. The Jazz went on a 14-0 during that stretch and led 44-31 at halftime.

The Nuggets managed just 13 points in the third quarter and never got closer than 11 points in the second half.

Denver had difficulty finding a rhythm on offensive for much of the night. Quincy Miller went 3-for-17 from the field, and the Nuggets shot 31.5 percent at a team, including 11.1 percent (3-for-27) from 3-point range.

In addition to Harris and Green, big man Jerrelle Benimon was among the bright spots for Denver. He finished with nine points and 11 rebounds in 15 minutes.