The Utah Jazz fell hard and picked up their eighth consecutive loss of the season Monday night, losing to the Denver Nuggets 100-81.
The Jazz got off to a great start by attacking the basket and spreading the floor on offense before the Nuggets could set up their man-to-man defense.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the first quarter play for the Jazz was their decisiveness on offense. Gordon Hayward showed great control in transition, Derrick Favors finally showed Jazz fans a “go-to” move with his baseline jumper, and Enes Kanter used muscle in the paint. Utah closed out the first quarter, 26-20.
Throughout the second quarter, the Nuggets caught their groove and point guard Ty Lawson found success through penetration, causing the Jazz to collapse down low, which then opened up the floor for the Nuggets’ jump shooters. The Jazz lost their lead and ended the half trailing by one, with a score of 46-45.
The Jazz fought hard during the third quarter but the Nuggets maintained a lead by slowing down Hayward. Longtime Nuggets point guard and former Utah Ute Andre Miller brought unparalleled smarts and energy to the floor and picked apart the Jazz defense. The Nuggets remained in control with a two-point lead at the end of the third, 70-68.
By the middle of the fourth quarter, the Jazz started playing frantic basketball. We’ve seen it before and it all starts with rushed shots and turnovers down the stretch. If there was a game this season the Jazz should have won, it was this one against the Nuggets.
Bobby Macey is a social media guru and marketing/public relations specialist by day. By night, he's a writer for Deseretnews.com covering the Utah Jazz. Follow him on Twitter @Bobmacey