Nikola Jokic had 28 points and 10 assists, Will Barton scored 18, and the host Denver Nuggets held on to beat the Utah Jazz 106-100 on Thursday night.
Jerami Grant added 15 points, Torrey Craig scored 13 and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Michael Porter Jr. added 12 points and 12 rebounds off the bench for Denver, which overcame a huge fourth quarter from Jordan Clarkson.
Clarkson scored 24 of his season-high 37 points in the final quarter to nearly rally Utah from 17 down. Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points and Georges Niang had 10 points for the Jazz, who have lost three in a row.
Utah led went up 54-45 on a 3-pointer by Joe Ingles early in the third quarter, but Denver got within four multiple times before breaking through when the Jazz went cold after Bogdanovic’s 3-pointer with 4:13 left made it 70-61.
Barton started the rally with a mid-range jumper and Porter hit two 3-pointers, the second of which gave Denver a 73-70 lead, its first since late in the first quarter. PJ Dozier capped the third with a 3-pointer at the horn that put the Nuggets ahead 76-70.
Denver continued to score while Utah couldn’t buy a basket. Grant and Dozier hit two foul shots each to make it 80-70 before Clarkson’s free throw with 10:53 left ended a scoring drought of 5 minutes, 20 seconds.
A flagrant foul by Niang put Craig on the line and kept possession for Denver, and Grant made the Jazz pay with a 3-pointer and a free throw. Malik Beasley’s 3-pointer with 8:57 left put the Nuggets up 88-71 and Clarkson’s field goal 15 seconds later gave Utah its first basket in 7:31.
Clarkson stayed hot, hitting four 3-pointers while Donovan Mitchell, who had just four points, hit two free throws to make it 98-93.
Clarkson was fouled on a 3-pointer and made all three free throws to make it 99-96 but Jokic’s 11 straight point for Denver kept the Nuggets in front.
—Field Level Media