Hayward has big night, Jazz top Nuggets 103-93
DENVER — Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke found a rhythm the Denver Nuggets backcourt could not match.
Hayward scored a season-high 30 points to go with a career-high 13 rebounds, Derrick Favors had 19 points and the Utah Jazz rallied after blowing a big third-quarter lead to beat the Nuggets 103-93 Friday night.
Point guard Trey Burke had 10 points and 10 assists for his second double-double in a week.
Wilson Chandler and Jordan Hamilton had 17 apiece for the Nuggets, whose starting backcourt of Ty Lawson and Randy Foye was outscored 40-0.
“Ty Lawson just came back off injury so you give him the benefit,” Utah coach Ty Corbin said. “But I like the way our guys played.”
Brian Shaw couldn’t say the same for his starters. A week after giving up 39 first-quarter points to the Boston Celtics, Shaw’s team allowed the Jazz to put up 33 in the first 12 minutes.
“The first quarter was the beginning of the end for us. They were hitting everything,” Denver’s coach said. “Our defense was terrible. We scored 28 ourselves, which is plenty enough but continuing to give up those big quarters is not going to get it done for us.”
The poor starts have Shaw considering making a change in his starting lineup.
“I don’t know if I have to shake it up or what I have to do with that starting lineup, the chemistry for whatever reason is not there,” he said. “It’s putting too much pressure on our bench night after night.”
The Nuggets struggled from the foul line, going 14 for 24, while the Jazz hit their first 13 free throws in going 19 of 20 from the line.
Denver fell to 6-3 on its home court after losing just three times at Pepsi Center all of last year.
The Jazz, meanwhile, are happy to steal one on the road. After starting the year 1-14 Utah is 5-5 in its last 10 games.
“We have all of our guys,” Corbin said. “We have different options.”
They needed them against Denver after the Jazz scored just 10 points in an 11-minute stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters.
The Nuggets, who trailed by 16 early in the third, finished the quarter on a 26-8 run to go ahead by two. The lead grew to four before Utah responded.
Hayward and Richard Jefferson had three-point plays and Favors’ putback gave the Jazz a 94-89 lead.
“I remember Rich kind of bringing everyone together and saying, ‘They’re a good team, they made they’re run, now it’s our turn to make a run,’ Hayward said of Jefferson. “We slowed down and kind of made one of our own.”
Denver cut it to 96-93 on two free throws by Andre Miller, but a layup and free throw gave Utah a 99-93 lead and the Jazz closed it out from there.
“They came out and hit us early,” Miller said. “Four or five 3-pointers to start the game. It was just an uphill battle the rest of the game.”
Utah’s nine-point halftime lead grew to 16 but Denver rallied. Hamilton hit a 3-pointer and a fadeaway jumper to give the Nuggets a 70-69 lead with 2:43 left in the third. It was their first lead since 4-3.
Hamilton hit a breakaway layup and a free throw at the end of the period to give Denver a 75-73 lead heading into the fourth.
“We kept our poise, we stayed together,” Jazz forward Marvin Williams said.
The Jazz used strong shooting to take the early lead. Utah hit its first four 3-pointers and made six of seven in the first period. The Jazz cooled off in the second quarter, but used a strong finish to the half to lead 53-44 at the break.
Hayward had 14 points at the intermission and Williams 11.
Chandler had 13 points at the break for the Nuggets, who struggled from 3-point range (3 for 11) and from the free-throw line (5 for 11) in the first half.
“(We) miss 10 free throws in our building, on our court, and we lose by 10 points,” he said.
NOTES: Hayward has two 30-point games in his career and both have come against Denver. … There was a moment of silence before the national anthem for Arapahoe High School staff, students and families affected by the shooting at the suburban Denver school on Friday afternoon.
… Friday marked the 30th anniversary of the highest-scoring game in NBA history. Detroit beat the Nuggets 186-184 in three overtimes in Denver. … The Jazz have the best 3-point shooting percentage (45.4) in the league during December.
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