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Recap: Utah defeats Denver 115-109 despite a 26 point, 21 rebound triple-double from Jokic

The Nuggets showed resolve throughout, but Bojan Bogdanovic’s 36 points proved too much for Denver tonight

Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images

The Utah Jazz defeated the Denver Nuggets 115-109 and secured their 10th straight road win. They played without Gobert and Ingles but Bojan Bogdanovic stepped up with a game-high 36 points to obstruct any Nugget comeback. The game was a tight contest throughout, but the Nugget offense and defense could not find a simultaneous rhythm to complete the comeback. Nikola Jokic dropped another triple-double in tonight's affair, scoring 26 points with 21 rebounds and 11 assists. It is his 64th triple-double as he continues to make his case for his second straight MVP award.

Tonight was one of those games where no matter how close Denver came, they either could not get a stop or score a bucket to obtain the lead. They held the Western Conference player of the month, Donovan Mitchell, to just 17 points on 8-22 shooting and 1-9 from three, but they could stop Bogdanovic at any point in the game. Whenever the Nuggets made their comeback, he responded with a scoring run of his own. He proved once again to be a Nugget killer. His career-high of 48 points came last year against Denver, and his 36 points tonight appeared to be the deciding factor in the contest.

Denver’s next task is at home against the Sacramento Kings, Friday at 7:00 PM. They fall to 18-18 and the 8th seed in the Western Conference.

1st Quarter

  • The game began with half-court, methodical offense from both teams. The Nuggets opened a 10-7 lead and held the Jazz to 3-11 shooting
  • Denver’s first 14 points came inside the paint. With Gobert out, it appeared to be the game plan early. Denver started 0-3 from three but 7-13 from the field overall
  • The Nugget defense displayed their intensity early. They held Mitchell to 0-4 shooting midway through the quarter and the Jazz as a team shot 5-17
  • While the Jazz found a little rhythm to take a 22-17 lead, Monte Morris came off the bench and hit a three off a Jokic assist
  • The Nugget bench introduced a 10-0 run to regain a 24-22 lead. Clarkson and Conley followed with two layups, but JaMychal Green ended the quarter with a bang. He grabbed an offensive rebound for a put-back layup and swatted Conley’s quarter-ending shot into the seats

Score: 26-26

2nd Quarter

  • Towards the end of the first, Utah located their three-point stroke and it continued early in the second. While Denver missed their first three shots, Utah hit two threes to obtain a 32-26 lead
  • Bol Bol started the second quarter. He did commit a turnover and two threes were scored on him, but he did run the floor well and scored his first two points in transition
  • Denver’s offense struggled mightily early in the second. They could only muster six points in the first five minutes of the quarter. Jokic only had two shot attempts in which he made both
  • Aaron Gordon helped the Denver offense get back on track. His seven points in two minutes ignited the crowd and transferred energy throughout the lineup, but the Jazz still maintained a 45-42 lead
  • Denver’s guards started to find Jokic in the paint for a couple of floaters and those gave the Nuggets a 47-45 lead. Jokic and Gordon did not miss a shot for the majority of the half. Gordon ended by shooting 6-6 and Jokic 4-5
  • A 10-4 Utah run gave the Jazz a 57-53 lead, but Monte Morris would respond with his second consecutive three to end the half

Score: 57-56 Jazz

Scoring leaders: Bogdanovic - 19, Gordon - 13

3rd Quarter

  • Mitchell, Conley, and Azubuike all scored to help open a 64-58 lead early in the second. The Nuggets shot 1-6 and committed two turnovers which forced an early timeout
  • Will Barton hit a much-needed three after the Jazz found their largest lead of the game at 70-60. Royce O’Neale then responded with a three of his own to regain that ten-point lead
  • The Jazz were scoring at will for the entire quarter. They seemed comfortable from anywhere on the floor and Denver could seldom respond. At the 5:00 minute mark, Utah outscored Denver 20-9
  • Jokic hit a three for his 17th point of the game but the Nuggets could not keep Utah from scoring inside. Utah was not only shooting well but exercised great ball security with only three turnovers
  • The Jazz tried to defend Jokic with Gay and Paschall but he obliterated them late in the quarter. Although Jokic bolstered the offense, Denver’s defense could not find an answer as Utah still obtained a double-digit lead at 84-73
  • Monte Morris hit his fourth three of the game to bring the score to 86-76. He was 4-5 from three to that point, but Bogdanovic responded again with his 30th point of the game

Score: 88-78 Jazz

Scoring leaders: Bogdanovic - 30, Jokic - 22

4th Quarter

  • Barton and Green initiated the quarter with two baskets. Once again, the Nuggets climbed within single digits but the Jazz got to the foul line and extended the lead back to ten
  • Will Barton might have struggled for three quarters but he did give the Nuggets six crucial points early in the fourth. At the nine-minute mark, he was the only Nugget to score excluding a JaMychal Green dunk. Denver would climb within eight at 94-86
  • Denver’s defense tighten as Jokic reentered the game three minutes into the fourth. As the defense found their rhythm so did the offense. Monte Morris hit his fifth three to decrease the Jazz lead to three at 94-91
  • Following that Monte three, Bogdanovic continued his relentless play with five straight points along with an O’Neale three to increase the lead to 102-93
  • Both teams traded baskets throughout a two-minute stretch but Utah maintained their advantage at 107-97. Utah started to miss shots but they wisely got to the foul line to sustain their momentum
  • Although the Nuggets grabbed a little momentum it was short-lived. They could not get a stop at the other end as Mitchell and Bogdanovic helped extend the lead to 113-104
  • With one-minute remaining, Barton hit a three along with a Jokic dunk to cut the lead to 113-109. They got the stop at the other end, but Monte could not convert on a three with about 10 seconds left

Score: 115-109 Jazz

Scoring leaders: Bogdanovic - 36, Jokic - 26

Stat leaders

Points: Bogdanovic - 36

Rebounds: Jokic - 21

Assists: Jokic - 11

Silent hero of the game: Rudy Gay - 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks on 6-9 shooting and 4-7 from beyond the arc