Hayward Has Big Night, Jazz Top Nuggets 103-93
DENVER (AP) — Gordon 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 Denver Nuggets 103-93 Friday night.
Wilson Chandler and Jordan Hamilton had 17 apiece for the Nuggets.
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 Nuggets trailed by 16 early in the third, but 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.
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.
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.
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 intermission and Marvin 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.
NOTES: Nuggets guard Ty Lawson went scoreless in his return from a two-game absence due to a strained left hamstring. … 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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