NIKOLA Jokic and Jameer Nelson sparked a late rally to help the Denver Nuggets fend off the comeback attempt of the suddenly skidding Utah Jazz, 103-93, at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
The Nuggets overcame a cold start with 26-7 run to take a 51-39 lead at the half. Denver led by as much as 17 in the third, but Utah stormed back in the fourth to cut the gap to four with less than three minutes remaining.
But the Nuggets went on an 8-0 blitz late, capped by Nelson’s backbreaking triple at the 1:16 mark to put the lead back to 12 and took the fight out of the Jazz in knocking down free throws to seal the win.
Six players scored in double figures for Denver (19-25), including all starters. Jokic continued his stellar play with 23 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals. Nelson added 17 markers, including three triples, and seven dimes.
Darrell Arthur had 16 off the bench for the Nuggets. Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried each scored 11, while Gary Harris chipped in 10 points.
Utah (29-18) got 18 points from Derrick Favors. George Hill and Boris Diaw scored 17 and 16 markers, respectively. Alec Burks came off the bench to add 13 points, while Rudy Gobert finished with 11 markers and nine boards.
The Jazz have lost two in a row after winning their past six games before the skid.