Utah Jazz Defend Top Record In West Against Denver Nuggets
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz will look to hold onto the best record in the West when they travel to face the Denver Nuggets on Friday.
The Jazz opened their season with a 123-102 blowout over the Nuggets in Salt Lake City.
Both teams are hoping to stack consecutive wins when they face off on Friday night.
Multiple Jazz players won’t suit up for Utah’s road game in the Mile High City, a couple of which due to the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols for COVID-19.
Forwards Rudy Gay and Simone Fontecchio were ruled out by the Jazz because of the protocols.
Two-way rookie Johnny Juzang is currently with the Salt Lake City Stars.
In addition to those players, first-year center Walker Kessler and guard Colin Sexton are questionable to play on Friday. Kessler’s status is due to an illness and Sexton is recovering from a left oblique contusion suffered during Utah’s win over the Houston Rockets on October 26.
Looks like the @utahjazz got hit by a bug.
OUT – Rudy Gay (health & safety protocols)
OUT – Simone Fontecchio (health & safety protocols)
OUT- Johnny Juzang (G League – Two Way)
QUESTIONABLE – Walker Kessler (illness)
QUESTIONABLE – Collin Sexton (left oblique contusion)
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) October 27, 2022
Jazz Tied For Best Record In West
The Jazz and the Portland Trail Blazers are the two hottest teams in the Western Conference opening the season 4-1.
The Blazers stood alone atop the West until they fell to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night at home.
The Jazz meanwhile avenged Monday’s loss in Houston with a 109-101 victory over the Rockets in Salt Lake City before setting off for a one-game road trip against the Nuggets.
Lauri Markkanen is suddenly dunking at a historic pace.
Talen Horton-Tucker broke out.
And at 4-1, the @utahjazz have matched last year's record through five games.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) October 27, 2022
Lauri Markkanen is having a career-year in Utah averaging 22.0 points and 8.8 rebounds in dive appearances with the Jazz.
Guard Jordan Clarkson is also experiencing career-bests in points, rebounds, assists, and three-point percentage as a full-time starter for the Jazz.
Markkanen and Clarkson combined for 44 points in the Jazz win over the Rockets.
Nuggets Trying To Find Footing
The Nuggets are off to a bit of a wobbly start to open the season at 3-2.
Denver has lost to both the Jazz and the Trail Blazers in blowout fashion, but has recorded wins over the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, and most recently the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.
The Nuggets own the seventh-worst defensive rating entering Friday night’s game against the Jazz and have given up 123 points or more in three of their five outings.
CB makin' a difference tonight 😤 pic.twitter.com/xO1pLD3Jw4
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) October 27, 2022
Denver’s normally high-powred offense has struggled this season since welcoming back Jamal Murray (knee) and Michael Porter Jr. (back surgery) from serious injuries last season.
Superstar center Nikola Jokic’s scoring is down nearly five full points from his average last season, though he’s averaging a career-high 9.4 assists through five games.
Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets Broadcast
The Utah Jazz will face the Denver Nuggets on Friday at 7 pm MT. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. The game will also be streamed on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.
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