The Denver Nuggets are back on the road tonight to take on their division rival, the Utah Jazz. The Nuggets are coming off one of their best games of the season, a blowout win against the Toronto Raptors, 112-93. Nikola Jokic had a career game for himself, scoring 27 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and a block. The Nuggets are currently four games behind the eighth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers and the ninth-seeded Jazz, so if the team still has aspirations to make the playoffs, they should treat this game as a must-win.

The Utah Jazz, meanwhile, are in the midst of another mediocre season in which they’ve been plagued by injuries, but they have currently won three in a row. They are coming off a big overtime win against the Chicago Bulls, defeating them 105-96. Gordon Hayward scored 27 points in that game, while bringing down 12 rebounds and dishing out 7 assists. Furthermore, Rudy Gobert is back in action after missing 18 games earlier in the season with a sprained MCL and had a 16-point, 12-rebound performance against the Bulls. The Nuggets have already dropped two games to the Jazz this season, so a win tonight would show some improvement against a team they’ve struggled with recently.

The Basics

Who: Denver Nuggets (19-30) at Utah Jazz (22-25)

When: 7:00 p.m.

Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

How to Watch/Listen: Altitude TV/104.3 FM

Rival Blog: SLC Dunk

Utah Jazz Denver Nuggets Advantage
PG Raul Neto Emmanuel Mudiay Nuggets
SG Rodney Hood Gary Harris Jazz
SF Gordon Hayward Danilo Gallinari Even
PF Derrick Favors Kenneth Faried Jazz
C Rudy Gobert Nikola Jokic Even

Joe Ingles, Trevor Booker, Trey Lyles, Trey Burke, Jeff Withey

Will Barton, Jusuf Nurkic, Randy Foye, Joffrey Lauvergne, Mike Miller, Darrell Arthur, J.J. Hickson Nuggets

Injured Players: Jameer Nelson, wrist (out), Wilson Chandler, hip (out), Alec Burks, fibula (out), Dante Exum, ACL (out)

Key Matchup: Gordon Hayward vs. Danilo Gallinari

The key matchup tonight is the one between the leading scorer for the Nuggets and the leading scorer for the Jazz. Hayward averages 19.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists a game. Danilo Gallinari, meanwhile, puts up nearly identical averages with 19.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists a game. In the two games these two have matched up this season, Hayward has averaged 23 points a game to Gallinari's 14.5. Both players are skilled at drawing contact, so we could see a lot of free throws between these two tonight. Hayward has always seemed to give the Nuggets problems in the past, so to get the win tonight Gallinari and the rest of the squad will have to contain him to the best of their ability.

Thing to Watch: Nikola Jokic’s response to his career night

Jokic had an absolutely dominating game on Monday night, getting a career-high in points and rebounds while making incredible plays. The Nuggets seemed to run the offense through him a number of times, and he definitely did not disappoint. He showed a multitude of skills as he posted up and scored near the basket, hit a three, found his teammates and maintained a solid defensive presence while he was on the court. Tonight, Nuggets fans should keep an eye out for how he answers that performance. It will be interesting to see how much attention the Jazz give Jokic after his career night, and even more interesting to see how Jokic responds. Also, will the Nuggets run even more plays through their Serbian center after more proof that the kid is a focal point of their future? After Michael Malone raved about the rookie, even saying that he wouldn't trade him for anybody in the world, Nuggets fans should be expecting a whole lot more Jokic in the games to come.


Join us at Jake’s Sports & Spirits (3800 Walnut Street, Denver, CO 80205) as our Nuggets take on the Jazz in Utah at 7pm.

Attendees can win Denver Stiffs T-shirts and Nuggets tickets and Jake’s will be serving 50-cent wings for us all night long.

We hope to see you there!