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Jamal Murray's fourth quarter powers Nuggets past Jazz

Harrison Wind Avatar
November 21, 2016

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DENVER — Behind 17 points on 7-10 shooting from the always reliable Wilson Chandler and a fourth quarter to remember from rookie Jamal Murray, the Denver Nuggets topped the Utah Jazz 105-91 and improved to 5-8 on the young season.

The Nuggets, who have struggled with consistency all year, won every quarter tonight for the first time this season.

“It was probably our most complete effort of the young season,” Michael Malone said. “We have to learn from this and do this more often.”

The Jazz, who came into tonight’s games on the second half of a back-to-back after losing in Houston Saturday night, didn’t have the legs to stay with the Nuggets for the full 48 minutes.

After a contested opening half that saw Denver take a 53-41 lead into the break, the Nuggets, and mainly Murray stepped on the gas in the fourth to put the game out of reach.

Murray finished with 18 points, 16 of them coming in the fourth quarter as the No. 7 overall pick continues to push for more playing time.

“Great to see Jamal Murray go on in that fourth quarter, make big shots,” Malone said. “All those experiences for Jamal, he just continues to grow up in front of our eyes. When he gets confident and puts that ball up, I think it’s going in every time he shoots it.”

The Nuggets also got steady production from their bigs. Starting center Jusuf Nurkic scored 16 points on an efficient 8-12 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds in just 26 minutes while backup Nikola Jokic chipped in 12 points on 5-8 shooting, five rebounds, and four assists in 21 minutes. Kenneth Faried was solid on both ends of the floor as well, recording five points and five rebounds in 24 minutes of action.

“That’s the quality of the roster, the depth we have,” Malone said of Nurkic and Jokic’s production. “We just wear teams down. Jusuf gets off to a great start, put in Nikola, he does it in a little different way than Nurkic does, but just as effective.”

One reason why this game stayed close as the Jazz were able to cut the Nuggets’ lead to 71-62 with 2:36 to go in the third quarter, was because the Nuggets couldn’t buy a free throw. They shot a season-worst 12-28 from the line.

We were like team Shaq tonight,” Malone said of his team’s effort from the line.

Elsewhere for Denver, Danilo Gallinari struggled, scoring just 13 points on 4-14 shooting but did dish out eight assists, while point guard Emmanuel Mudiay flirted with a triple-double; ten points, eight rebounds and, eight assists in 32 minutes.

Will Barton returned to the starting lineup after missing Denver’s last nine games and scored seven points in 19 minutes.

WHERE/WHEN

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado | November 20, 2016 | Game No. 13

NUGGETS STAR OF THE GAME

Tonight’s star of the game goes to Murray. The rookie, who’s getting more confident with every minute he plays and every time he sees the ball go through the hoop finished with 15 points, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter.

BY THE NUMBERS

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-10-02-21-pm screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-10-02-09-pm

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Chandler for three

Hernangomez doing work inside

Jokic from deep

Chandler’s run out

Murray from the corner

Murray stays hot from deep

WHAT’S NEXT

Denver hosts Chicago Wednesday who are in the midsts of a brutal west coast road trip. The Bulls have exceeded expectations early on this season, but look to be coming back to earth.

 

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