Nuggets rally to win in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY – Andre Miller had 24 points and nine assists and led a key fourth-quarter run for the Denver Nuggets in a 109-98 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.With the win, Denver (39-31) tied Memphis for the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference playoff race. The Nuggets needed to rally after falling behind by four early in the fourth quarter despite playing against Utah’s depleted lineup.
Marcus Camby had 23 points and 16 rebounds and Carmelo Anthony also scored 23 for the Nuggets, who never led by more than seven until late in the game. Earl Boykins added 11 points and six assists off the bench.Mehmet Okur led the Jazz with 23 points and 17 rebounds.Denver improved to 22-6 under coach George Karl, but this one wasn’t one of the more impressive victories during the turnaround.
Denver’s Kenyon Martin missed his second-straight game with a bruised chest, but the Nuggets still appeared to have a clear advantage against the Jazz’s 26th starting lineup of the season. Utah has already lost its top two scorers for the season and was playing without guards Raja Bell (shin) and Kirk Snyder, who was benched by coach Jerry Sloan for taunting in front of Houston’s bench Monday.The Jazz were still able to stay in it with reserve center Curtis Borchardt’s career-high 12 points, journeyman Randy Livingston scoring 10 and Ben Handlogten adding 11 points.Utah went up 81-77 on a layup by Borchardt early in the fourth before Denver finally started running.
Camby tied the game at 83-all on an alley-oop from Anthony, then Miller made two free throws and a layup during a 10-2 run that put the Nuggets in control. The Jazz never got closer than three points the rest of the game.Notes: Denver has won 15 of 17. … The 5-foot-5 Boykins plucked a rebound from the 7-foot Okur in the third quarter. … Former Jazz guard John Stockton was honored before the game when an 8-foot bronze statue of him was unveiled south of the arena. Stockton watched the game from the stands with his family and he received a standing ovation when he was introduced in the second quarter. A Utah fan shouted “Come back John!” after the final horn.
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