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    Gallinari helps Nuggets knock Jazz into 9th spot

    Apr 4, 2013
    Denver Nuggets' Danilo Gallinari drives to the basket as Utah Jazz's Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors defend. AP

    SALT LAKE CITY — Danilo Gallinari scored 21 points, including nine straight in the fourth quarter, and the Denver Nuggets beat Utah 113-96 Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time) to end the Jazz's winning streak at five.

    Utah (39-37) fell a half-game behind the idle Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth Western Conference playoff spot.

    Kenneth Faried added 19 points for the Nuggets (51-24), who took three of four from the Jazz this season.

    Gordon Hayward led Utah with 18 points, while Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap scored 16 apiece.

    Utah guards Mo Williams and Randy Foye were a combined 4 of 21.

    The Jazz had made 19 3-pointers in two previous games but were just 6 of 20 from beyond the arc Wednesday.

    Denver outscored Utah 58-38 in the paint and 19-13 on the break.

    The Jazz had won five straight by 10 or more but never got untracked, shooting 46 percent and allowing theNuggets to dominate both inside and out.

    Denver shot 56 percent and outrebounded Utah 42-33, with Kosta Koufos corralling 13 boards for the Nuggets.

    Denver's bench also came up huge, with Evan Fournier shooting 7 of 9 for 18 points, Corey Brewer adding 14 and Wilson Chandler 10.

    The Nuggets won despite being without leading scorer Ty Lawson, who has missed four of the last five games with a left plantar fasciitis tear.

    The Nuggets led by as many as 21 points.

    Denver opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 13-point lead, 64-51. Andre Iguodala hit a 3, Gallinari converted a three-point play and Iguodala scored on a reverse dunk. Utah missed its first six shots in the quarter and didn't make a field goal until the 7:11 mark.

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    The Nuggets bumped their lead to 15, 71-56, after Faried's dunk off a long pass by Andre Miller, who finished with 13 points and six assists.

    A 6-0 Utah run, capped by Gordon Hayward's long jumper, pulled the Jazz within 74-65 in the third.

    The crafty Miller, who recently turned 37, quieted the fans by feeding Iguodala for another dunk then stealing the ball to set up a 3-pointer for Brewer and 79-66 Nuggets lead.

    The Nuggets led 56-51 at halftime thanks to a 23-15 edge in rebounding, 30-20 advantage on points in the paint and 52.5 percent shooting. Faried (5 of 7), Miller (5 of 8) and Brewer (3 of 4) were a combined 13 of 19 for 33 points in the first half.

    Utah used a 9-2 run to regain the lead, 41-40, with 5:34 left in the half. Hayward hit a 17-footer and 3-pointer, Marvin Williams a tip shot and Paul Millsap a left-handed hook over Faried.

    The Nuggets responded with a 7-0 run, including a 3-pointer by Chandler, to take a 51-43 lead. Back-to-back dunks by Marvin Williams off passes by Mo Williams kept Utah close.

    Denver led 28-23 after one, using an 8-0 run to turn a 19-17 deficit into a 25-19 lead. Faried hit a shot over Derrick Favors, Brewer followed with a jumper, Iguodala a steal and dunk and Miller a 4-foot turnaround jumper.

    NOTES: Nuggets coach George Karl, a two-time cancer survivor, was asked about Monday's death of veteran NBA official Greg Willard to pancreatic cancer. "I'm getting old, getting savvy with every (cancer) situation," Karl said. "I think he knew how tough it was going to be. It's hard. When I come to Salt Lake City it's hard because (former University of Utah) coach (Rick) Majerus was here so many times. Even walking around going to dinner last night, it was emotional for me because I would be going to dinner with Rick." Majerus died of heart failure in December. ... Nuggets G Miller opted for the buffet served to media member before the game, saying he's been doing it for several years to spare the ball boys and change his eating habits. ... Jazz F Hayward picked up his third foul with 6:49 left in the second quarter.

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    Denver Nuggets' Danilo Gallinari drives to the basket as Utah Jazz's Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors defend. AP
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