The Denver Nuggets took control of a back-and-forth affair against the Utah Jazz in the third quarter on their way to a 99-91 win Friday night at Pepsi Center in Denver.
The game featured seven ties and 13 lead changes prior to Denver outscoring Utah 38-16 in the third. The Jazz had a 49-46 advantage at halftime.
Facing his former team, Trey Lyles sparked the Nuggets (21-17) with a career-high 26 points in 28 minutes off the bench. The 2015 first-round pick by Utah made nine of his 17 shots and had seven rebounds.
Denver’s Jamal Murray also scored 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting. He hit six of his seven 3-point attempts and had six rebounds and three assists.
Derrick Favors finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for Utah (16-23). Phenom rookie Donovan Mitchell, who was initially drafted by the Nuggets before his rights were traded to the Jazz, had 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the contest, and Ricky Rubio also scored 15 points.
Coming out of the half up by three, the Jazz upped the margin to six on a Rubio 3-pointer with 10:10 remaining in the third period. It was all Nuggets from there, however, as Denver scored 36 of the game’s next 47 points to carry an 84-65 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Jazz outscored the Nuggets 26-15 in the fourth, but it was too little, too late.
With the win, the Nuggets split the season series between the clubs. The Jazz won the first two meetings before Denver routed Utah 107-83 last Tuesday.
The victory is the Nuggets’ 14th at home this season, a total Denver didn’t reach last season until Feb. 6. The loss was the Jazz’s 12th in the past 15 games.
The Nuggets will travel to play the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night, while the Jazz continue their four-game road trip with a matchup against the Miami Heat on Sunday.
--Field Level Media