Bojan Bogdanovic scored a career-high 48 points, Jordan Clarkson had 21 points and eight assists, and the host Utah Jazz beat the Denver Nuggets 127-120 in Salt Lake City on Friday night.
Rudy Gobert had 14 points and nine rebounds, Georges Niang had 13 points and Joe Ingles had 10 points and nine assists for Utah (49-18).
Michael Porter Jr. scored 31 points, Nikola Jokic finished with 24 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds, Paul Millsap scored 19, Austin Rivers added 18 and Aaron Gordon 10 for the Nuggets (44-23).
The Jazz came out strong to start the fourth quarter. Niang made an 8-footer and a 3-pointer to go in front, and after two free throws by Porter, Bogdanovic made two more from deep to give Utah a 109-103 lead.
Rivers’ 3-pointer cut the deficit to three, but a dunk by Gobert and Bogdanovic’s eighth 3-pointer increased the lead to 114-106 with 4:39 remaining.
Denver scored the next five points out of a timeout to get within three. Clarkson hit a 3-pointer and Gobert a layup to make it 119-112.
The Nuggets got within three with a minute left but Clarkson’s sixth 3-pointer ended the comeback attempt.
Both teams cooled off after a scorching first half, and things stayed close throughout the third quarter. Utah took a 78-77 lead on two free throws from Bogdanovic but Millsap made two foul shots and Porter hit a 25-footer to give the Nuggets a four-point lead.
The Jazz again went ahead by one but Rivers hit two 3-pointers to put Denver back up by five. After Utah retook the lead, Jokic made two free throws with 1.5 seconds left in the third to give the Nuggets a 99-98 lead heading into the fourth.
Denver shot 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc in the first half and the Jazz shot 56.5 and 47.8 percent, respectively, during an offensive 24 minutes. The Nuggets led by as many as 11 in the first half and took a 73-69 advantage into halftime.
–Field Level Media