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Nuggets Erupt in 4Q to Down Jazz
The Denver Nuggets won their fourth game in a row with a 103-88 win against the Utah Jazz, coming back from down nine late the third to remain undefeated at home this season.
The Nuggets dwindled their deficit down to five by the end of the third quarter. They took the lead less than three minutes into the fourth when reserve guard Malik Beasley splashed a contested 3-pointer from the wing with 9:20 remaining to put his team up two.
The sellout crowd of 19,520 erupted 41 seconds later when backup big man Mason Plumlee netted the first triple of his career from nearly the same spot to give Denver an 82-77 advantage. Denver seized control of the game with a lineup, consisting of just one starter in point guard Jamal Murray, playing alongside Beasley, Plumlee, Juancho Hernangomez and Trey Lyles.
“It was just the end of the shot clock and we had to get it up. So, I took it,” Plumlee said of his make from deep. “To me it was just funny how it started a run kind of.”
The Nuggets went on to outscore the Jazz by 20 in the fourth, who came into the game with just one road loss, to improve to 8-1 on the season.
Shooting guard Gary Harris was tops in scoring on the Night for Denver with 20 points in addition to four rebounds. Murray put up 19 points to go along with four assists and five rebounds. Paul Millsap scored 13 and Beasley finished with 12.
“Those guys were just everywhere. It was inspiring to watch, said Nuggets coach Michael Malone of his bench unit that tallied 40 points. “…We held them to four field goals in the fourth quarter, which is unbelievable. We only had two turnovers in the fourth quarter, which was a big part of the run that we went on.”
Center Nikola Jokic recorded yet another double-double with a season-high 16 assists, 10 rebounds and seven points.
“I think it speaks to his greatness. Some guys can impact the game with solely their scoring and their ability to score baskets. Malone said. “Nikola can dominate a game without scoring at all and not many guys can do that.”
In their finest defensive performance of the year, Denver limited Utah to its second-lowest point total of the season. In particular, it held Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, a first-team all-rookie choice in 2017-18 and the NBA’s 14th leading scorer coming into the game, to 16 points on 7-for-22 shooting.
Jae Crowder paced the Jazz with 21 points, followed by Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert, who had 12 apiece while point guard Ricky Rubio chipped in with 11 as Utah fell to 4-5.
The Nuggets host the Boston Celtics Monday at 7 p.m. That game will be aired live on Altitude TV and streamed on AltitudeNOW.com