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The Roundup—Jazz 93, Nuggets 103
Playing their fourth game in five nights, the Utah Jazz started out hot but lost steam as the night went on, eventually falling on the road to the Denver Nuggets 103-93 Tuesday evening.
Derrick Favors led the Jazz (29-18) with 18 points, while George Hill added 17 points and five assists. Alec Burks (13 points) scored in double figures off the bench for the third straight game.
Boris Diaw scored a season-high 16 points off the bench, and Rudy Gobert added 11 points and nine rebounds in the loss.
Gobert failed grab at last 10 rebounds for the first time since November 20, snapping a 31-game streak (the longest in the NBA this season).
Nikola Jokic was all over the place for the Nuggets (19-25), grabbing rebounds and leading the fast break, banking in jumpers, and dishing to cutting teammates for easy layups. The 21-year-old center finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals and three blocks.
On a night when the team as a whole struggled to score, Favors had his best offensive night of the season with 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting. He scored 16 of those points (on 7-for-7 from the field an 2-for-2 from the line) in the third quarter to almost single-handedly keep the Jazz in the game. Favors added five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 25 minutes.
Denver caught fire late in the second quarter, going on a 26-7 run to close the first half. That stretch was filled with easy points for the Nuggets, who went a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line and scored another 10 points in the paint.
The Jazz made a late push when Diaw threw down a hybrid dunk/layup thing to start a 15-4 Utah run midway through the fourth quarter. Diaw added a corner three before Gobert took over, scoring eight points (on a dunk, layup, tip-in and two free throws). Burks hit the floor hustling for loose balls, and another bucket by Diaw pulled the Jazz within four. George Hill, though, missed two open 3-point attempts and Denver took advantage with a jumper by Jameer Nelson and three-point play by Jokic to take back control.
After starting out shooting 5-for-9 from 3-point range, the Jazz proceeded to go 1-for-12 (8.3 percent) from deep until Hill made a three in the final 30 seconds.
Utah committed 21 personal fouls and sent Denver to the free-throw line 31 times. The Nuggets made 23 of those freebies (compared to 16 for the Jazz). Gobert was limited to 25 minutes because of foul trouble.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"We fouled. I thought we just started making some undisciplined plays and we had breakdowns where we put them on the foul line. All of the sudden we were playing against a set defense every possession. We looked like we were stuck in mud at that point, and that's because we couldn't get anything on the move where we were getting stuff offensively off our defense."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Gordon Hayward scored nine points, marking only the fourth time this season that he's failed to score in double figures. ... Rodney Hood (knee) missed his fifth straight game for the Jazz. Emmanuel Mudiay (back) was out of the lineup for Denver. ... Darrell Arthur scored a season-high 16 points in the win for the Nuggets. ... The teams split the season series 2-2, with each winning both games at home.
The Jazz will return home to take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. MT, and the game will be televised nationally on TNT.