UTAH JAZZ

Despite Difficult Circumstances, Jazz Prevail In Denver

Feb 28, 2019, 11:14 PM | Updated: Mar 1, 2019, 9:33 am
Kyle Korver #26 of the Utah Jazz is guarded by Malik Beasley #25 of the Denver Nuggets in the first...
Kyle Korver #26 of the Utah Jazz is guarded by Malik Beasley #25 of the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter at the Pepsi Center on February 28, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

DENVER, Colo. – With multiple factors going against them, the Utah Jazz surprised the Denver Nuggets by winning 111-104.

The Jazz, who had played the night before in a win over the LA Clippers, were also dealing with a slew of injuries at the point guard position.

After resorting to back up Raul Neto after starter Ricky Rubio left Wednesday’s game against the Clippers, the Jazz had to go without either point guards against Denver. It was announced earlier in the day that Neto was dealing with tightness in his hamstring, just like Rubio.

“We were in this situation a month or so ago, after Dante got hurt and then Ricky and Raul. So I think it’s not unfamiliar to us,” said head coach Quin Snyder before the game.

“It doesn’t make it easier,” he added.

Shorthanded at the guard position, Royce O’Neale was placed into the starting lineup against the Nuggets, who had the league’s best home record at 27-4 going into the game.

In addition to having played the night before and the injuries to the backcourt, the Jazz were also up against a officials crew led by Kane Fitzgerald, who has been vilified by Jazz fans for years for some calls considered to be questionable by the fan base.

Despite all that, the Jazz authored one of their best overall games of the season.

After trailing 22-19 after the first quarter, the Jazz turned one of their best period-long performances in the second, outscoring Denver 33-15 in the period.

The scoring in the second was highlighted by three-straight triples by Thabo Sefolosha.

However, the Nuggets turned it on in the second half and nearly stole the game away in the waning minutes.

On a major scoring run, Denver cut the Utah lead to just three before Donovan Mitchell knocked down a clutch deep shot from 2-point range.

On the next Denver possession, Nuggets All-Star Nikola Jokic looked to slice the advantage to just three again before Rudy Gobert came up with a huge block to end Denver’s momentum.

From there, the Jazz held on for the win.

Mitchell finished with a game-high 24 points. Kyle Korver was terrific with 22 points off the bench.

Next Up

The Jazz will next return home to face the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday at 7 p.m.

 

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