NBA 2K Game Recap: Denver Nuggets 70, Utah Jazz 67
It wasn’t straightforward, but the Nuggets remain undefeated in their 2K Game of the Week series (2-0) after a thrilling 70-67 win over the Jazz. Whether it is on the actual hardwood or a virtual one, Utah and Denver have an intense Northwest division rivalry and this contest didn’t disappoint.
Nikola Jokić led the Nuggets with 12 points, securing the Budweiser Nugget of the Night with a clutch performance for Coach Michael Malone’s team.
Denver got off to a hot start, hitting its first six shots to take a 13-9 lead over the visitors. Donovan Mitchell kept things close early on for the Jazz. The Nuggets’ bench would help the team pull away late in the first quarter. Monte Morris scored two late buckets and forced a turnover to build a 17-11 lead. The team would take a 21-16 lead entering the second quarter.
The Jazz fought back after the first quarter, reeling off a 14-2 run to open the second quarter. Mitchell and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert were the catalysts of the Jazz’s comeback. Gary Harris would hit a three to cut the deficit to 30-26, but the Nuggets continued to struggle to defend the low post. The Jazz would take their largest lead of the night at 11 and would enter the break with a 40-32 advantage. Mike Conley scored 14 points in the opening 24 minutes.
Jokić’s playmaking would prove to be the turning point for Denver in the second half. He assisted on two consecutive threes by Morris and Jamal Murray to bring the Nuggets within nine points in the third quarter. From there, the Nuggets’ bench would keep the momentum going. Michael Porter Jr. would score six points to close out the quarter and cut Utah’s lead to six.
Denver would button things up defensively in the deciding quarter. Malone would see his team hold the Jazz to just 10 points in the fourth quarter. Will Barton III had a crucial steal and slam to bring the game within three points. Denver would take its first lead since the second quarter after Barton III fed Jokić for an easy layup to put the score at 63-61. The team also did a good job of neutralizing the threat of Conley, as he was held to just four points in the second half.
Jokić would ice the game for the Nuggets by hitting their final two buckets of the game. On both possessions, the First Team All-NBA center caught Gobert off guard to convert layups. Mitchell had an opportunity to steal the game from the home team with a three at the 9.7 mark in the fourth quarter, but his shot went in and out. Royce O'Neale would have a similar chance with 4.7 seconds remaining, but his attempt hit the backboard. The Nuggets will now aim to go 3-0 in the 2K Game of the Week series when they host the Portland Trail Blazers next week.