EditorsNote: Updates playoff info for both teams and minor tweaks throughout
Donovan Mitchell matched his career best of 46 points, and the Utah Jazz posted a solid 118-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night in Salt Lake City.
Rudy Gobert added 20 points and 10 rebounds as Utah notched its ninth straight home win against Denver. Derrick Favors scored 16 points and Joe Ingles contributed 10 points and 13 assists for the Jazz (50-31).
Utah locked up the No. 5 seed for the Western Conference playoffs. The Jazz’s first-round playoff opponent will be determined Wednesday night when the NBA regular season concludes.
Utah plays a road game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
Malik Beasley scored 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting for the Nuggets, who have lost four of their past six games.
Jamal Murray and Monte Morris each scored 22 points and Gary Harris added 15 points for the Nuggets. Second-place Denver (53-28) is a half-game ahead of Houston (53-29) after the Rockets fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday. The Nuggets host the Timberwolves on Wednesday.
Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic had just two points on 1-of-6 shooting in 16 minutes before fouling out with 8:12 remaining.
Utah shot 52.6 percent from the field, including 10 of 27 from 3-point range, while winning for the 13th time in 15 games.
Denver shot 46.6 percent from the field and was 12 of 25 from behind the arc.
Mitchell drained two free throws to give the Jazz a 100-92 lead with 7:44 remaining.
Utah later scored 11 straight points to put the game away. Gobert scored back-to-back inside baskets to increase the advantage to 109-98 with 4:11 left. Mitchell followed with a 3-pointer to match his previous career high of 46 points and Royce O’Neale added a fast-break slam dunk to increase the margin to 16 with 3:24 remaining.
Gobert finished the flurry with a tip-in with 2:11 left to give the Jazz a 116-98 advantage. M0itchell scored 17 first-quarter points as Utah led by as many as 12 points before settling for a 27-21 lead. He had 27 at the half as Utah led 60-59.
The score was tied at 76 with just under four minutes remaining in the third quarter before Utah rolled off 13 of the next 16 points to take a 10-point lead.
Mitchell reached the 40-point mark during the spurt by splitting two free throws with 2:12 remaining.
The Nuggets pulled within 91-86 heading into the fourth quarter.
—Field Level Media