The Nuggets offense went cold on Tuesday night as they scored a season low 77 points and lost to the Utah Jazz by a score of 106-77.
The Nuggets couldn’t avenge an early season loss to the Jazz and dropped their seventh straight game in Utah. The Nuggets shot just 35 percent from the field and were 7-34 from behind the three-point line. Utah was down by one to the Nuggets at the half, but outscored the Nuggets 58-28 in the second half. The Nuggets scored 24 and 25 points respectively in the first two quarters, and just 17 points in the third and 11 in the fourth. Denver is now 11-9 on the season and the Jazz move to 10-11.
Turnovers became an issue yet again for the Nuggets as they committed 18 turnovers that tuned into 28 Utah points. Nuggets point guard Emmanuel Mudiay led the team in turnovers with five on the night. Derrick Favors was the star of the night as the Jazz’s center scored a team high 24 points on 12-16 shooting. Favors also had nine rebounds. five assists, three blocks, and had a team high in the +/- department with a +30. Favors is filling in for injured Jazz center Rudy Gobert and was a problem in the paint for the Nuggets all night. The Jazz would end up outscoring the Nuggets 46-32 in the paint.
Utah also got great production from Jonas Jerebko and Ricky Rubio. Jerebko scored 15 points on 6-10 shooting, 3-4 from deep, and Rubio scored 13 on 5-10 shooting, and chipped in five assists. Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell was held in check for most of the night by Nuggets guard Gary Harris, but got hot in the fourth quarter and finished with 16 points on 5-12 shooting, 2-5 from behind the arc. Former Colorado Buffalo Alec Burks played well against the Nuggets yet again and scored 14 points off the bench on 4-10 shooting, 3-5 from three.
Gary Harris was the Nuggets best player on the night and kept the Nuggets in the game with 14 strong first half points. Harris would finish with 18 points after a cold second half, but still contributed four of the Nuggets seven three-pointers. As for Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic, he was held in check by the Jazz and finished with seven points, six rebounds, and six assists. Kenneth Faried started in place of injured forward Paul Millsap and scored 11 points and brought down eight rebounds. Junacho Hernangomez filled in for Nuggets starting small forward Wilson Chandler (low back pain) and shot just 3-9 from the field for seven points, but led the Nuggets with 10 rebounds.
The Nuggets road woes are starting to become a bit of a concern as they are now 3-7 on the road and 8-2 at home. It’s still to early to panic on the Nuggets road issues though as this loss came against a team the Nuggets have struggled against in recent seasons in the Jazz. The Nuggets have now lost seventh straight games in Utah, but luckily won’t have to play their again this season as they face the Jazz two more times, with both being at the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets did have a feel good story on the night as two-way player Torrey Craig made his NBA debut. Craig was called up this morning from the G-League to help give the team some depth with Wilson Chandler being out. The 26 year-old rookie played six minutes in the fourth quarter and missed the only shot attempt he took. There’s no telling how long the Nuggets will keep Craig up, but it’ll likely hinge off the injury status of Chandler. Craig has 45 days of NBA service and is currently averaging 25.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in the G-League with the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
The Nuggets are back in action at home on Thursday night in a match-up against the Chicago Bulls.