Utah Jazz: Team hopes to control pace against Denver Nuggets

Published: Friday, Dec. 13 2013 2:05 p.m. MST

Denver Nuggets' Ty Lawson, center, drives for the basket as Boston Celtics' Brandon Bass (30) defends in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Michael Dwyer, AP

DENVER — The Utah Jazz (5-19) hope to gain some traction as they take on the Denver Nuggets (13-8) tonight at Pepsi Center.

Denver already beat the Jazz once this season, 100-81 at EnergySolutions Arena a month ago, and the Nuggets are expecting to have injured point guard Ty Lawson back. He's been out with a tweaked hamstring.

This will be rookie Trey Burke's first game against Denver. The point guard missed the teams' first meeting in Salt Lake City because of his broken finger.

Some short shots from today’s shootaround session:

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin on the Nuggets, who are averaging 102.6 points per outing:

“We have to make sure we’re controlling their runs. Their bench is one of the best benches in the league (44.7 points per game). They play at a pace that’s fast all the time, especially here at home.”

Corbin continued about dealing with the Nuggets’ tempo:

“They’re going to run on everything: makes, misses, turnovers. They do a good job of getting down the floor, trying to attack you quickly at the basket, space the floor, shoot threes. We’ve got make sure we get back. We’ve got to make sure we’re playing at a pace on the offensive end that makes them play defense and slows the game.”

The Jazz are coming off of a 122-101 win at Sacramento, which was their best-scoring game and largest margin of victory all season. The biggest offensive difference for one of the NBA’s lowest-scoring teams, which has now hit 100 points or more in five of eight games?

“Making shots. It’s as simple as seeing the ball go in the hole,” Corbin said. “I thought early on we were trying to make the right passes, the ball just wasn’t going in the hole. Now we’re getting a little bit better pace and we’re able to spread the floor a little more. Guys are making (shots).

“We still have a ways to go, but I think the execution continues to get better, but making shots has been the key for us.”

Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward on whether the team has turned a corner:

“We’re getting better as a team. You look at the record and see we’re still pretty far back, still in need of a lot of growth, a lot of improvement. Definitely when we’re full strength, I feel like we play pretty well and for the most part we’re in the game and giving ourselves a chance to win.”

Jazz shooting guard Brandon Rush on the conversation he had Wednesday morning with Corbin before playing 20 minutes and going 3 for 4 from 3-point range:

“(Corbin) said he sensed a little tension in my game. Sometimes I don’t know when to go and when not to go. He just wanted me to go out there and play. … We definitely had an agreement on that the other day. I was with him 100 percent. I think I played a little differently, just because I made a few shots here and there. I was able to slide on defense, just go out there and play like he wanted me to.”

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com


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