SALT LAKE CITY—The Utah Jazz defense blocked the Nuggets ten times en route to an 85-81 victory over the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night. The Jazz have now extended their season’s best win streak to four games.
Derrick Favors led the Jazz’ effort with six swats of his own, plus 16 points and 11 rebounds.
“Both teams really competed and played hard, “ said Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. “It wasn’t the prettiest game, but I was happy that we hung in there.”
The lead changed hands 13 times, and Utah’s (23-25, 16-10 home) largest lead only amounted to five points, but it was enough to put them in a tie with Portland for eighth place in the Western Conference.
Derrick Favors sealed a win for Utah by grabbing a loose ball rebound after missed jump shot by Rodney Hood with seven seconds to play. The officials originally ruled Favors out of bounds, but gave Utah possession after a replay review. Gordon Hayward was fouled on the inbound play, and hit both free throws to put the Jazz up four points with five seconds to play.
“We did enough to stay in the game when I don’t think we were playing well,” Snyder said. “We played a little better at the end and we were able to come up with a win.”
After falling behind by as many as eight points, the Jazz rallied behind veteran leaders Favors and Gordon Hayward to stuff the Nuggets’ offensive attack while drawing fouls and finding lines to the basket offensively.
The turning point came when Gordon Hayward found rookie Trey Lyles on a 3-1 fast break. Lyles shook the basket with a one-handed dunk and shouted upon landing, surging energy to his team and the Vivint Smart Home Arena crowd. The game tied several times later, but the Jazz never relinquished momentum.
Four Jazzmen scored in double digits. Hayward matched Favors’ 16 points while Rudy Gobert netted 12 points and Raul Neto scored 10.
Utah will host Milwaukee on Friday night to close out the six-game home stand before heading out on Saturday for a three-game road trip.
Quin Snyder Postgame:
Derrick Favors Postgame:
Gordon Hayward Postgame:
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