DENVER Starting shooting guard Ronnie Brewer was out, his tailbone bruised but not broken.
Backup power forward Paul Millsap and starting center Mehmet Okur were out too, both having fouled out in the fourth quarter.
And starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko was just barely hanging in, playing with five fouls for the final five minutes and 47 seconds of the fourth and all of overtime.
Despite being so shorthanded, however, the Jazz still managed to win their 10th straight, beating Denver 118-115 in a decidedly physical thriller Wednesday that marked their first OT game this season.
"We hung in there," said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, whose club also has won 14-of-15 with the lone loss in that stretch coming when they visited here last month.
"I was proud of guys, the way we fought in the game," Sloan added. "(We) tried to stay with what we were trying to do, instead of getting into a pushing and shoving contest."
Starting point guard Deron Williams finished with a game-high 11 assists and team-high 29 points, including a 3-pointer that made it 106-106 with 17.8 seconds left in the fourth.
Williams was freed on the play by a screen from backup shooting guard Kyle Korver, who scored the final six points of overtime for the Northwest Division-leading Jazz.
"Some guys had to play out of position a little bit," Korver said after Utah finished with starting power forward Carlos Boozer at center in place of Okur.
"But we just kept on fighting," added Korver, whose 27 points in 37 minutes off the bench were a season-high and just four off his career high. "Sometimes, you know, the calls and the ball doesn't bounce your way. (But) the sign of a good team is a team that can fight through that and persevere, and we did that."
As a result, Utah extended its current league-high winning streak and matched its longest stretch since it won 11 consecutive games in April 1999.
The 32-18 Jazz also became just the third NBA team this season to win at least 10 straight, joining Portland (13) and Detroit (11).
Moreover, they ended division-rival Denver's overall win streak at three and its home win streak at eight.
"That was a physical game," said Jazz backup small forward Matt Harpring, who scored 13 as he, Korver and Millsap combined to outscore the Nuggets' bench 50-11. "But that's what happens when both teams need a win like that.
"It's good that we got some experience playing down the stretch on the road against a hostile crowd in a hostile game," Harpring added. "It's like a playoff game."
Things got particularly chippy after Nuggets big man Kenyon Martin, who was called for a flagrant-I foul on the play, pulled down Brewer as he soared for a third-quarter layup attempt.
Brewer crashed hard to the floor, landing on the right side of his rear. He stayed on the floor for some time, then after a break remained in the game for a short while.
Eventually, though, Brewer exited.
X-rays were negative, but he was quite sore afterward.
"Just a deep bruise that's all," Brewer said.
Brewer confirmed that Martin pulled him down by the shoulder.
"I think so," he said, "and it kind of made my neck go back and gave me whiplash a little bit. But it's nothing serious, and really didn't damage anything. I don't think he necessarily tried to hurt me."
What followed was a procession of especially physical plays.
Harpring elbowed Martin, and the two later exchanged words. Martin set a couple hard picks. Harpring and Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony, who also fouled out, got tangled up, and after Anthony shoved Harpring both were hit technicals. Harpring and Denver sub Edjuardo Najera mixed it up too, prompting Sloan to call for cooler heads.
"I told the players, 'You play basketball,"' Sloan said. "That's what this game is about. It's not about who's got the biggest muscles, or who's got the biggest arms, or that sort of thing," he said. "Just go play basketball, and you try to win the game by playing basketball not by trying to out-talk the other guy, or show him how tough you are or anything like that."
Once Anthony missed an Allen Iverson-fed jumper from the right sideline that would have won the game for Denver at the end of regulation, the Jazz who led by as many as 16 in the second quarter, and by 15 at halftime focused on the task at hand.
Harpring came off a short curl and hit a jumper that pulled Utah to within one at 113-112, and after a couple Anthony Carter misses and an Iverson miss Korver converted a fastbreak layup to put the Jazz up 114-113 with 48.8 seconds remaining in OT.
Iverson responded with two free throws to put the Nuggets back ahead, but Korver went to the line with 19.3 seconds left after getting intentionally fouled.
Korver had gone cold earlier and even missed two previous freebies, but the NBA's leading free-throw shooter from last season wasn't about to miss this time.
"You've just got to block those out," Korver said. "Once I made the first one, I was like, 'Alright, it's fine now.' "
The Nuggets still had a chance at that point, but Iverson taking matters missed a 19-foot jumper with 7.8 seconds to go. Boozer rebounded and got the ball to Korver, who hit two more freebies. And after Carter missed a desperation trey try at the buzzer, the Jazz headed to Sacramento feeling awfully good."It feels great, especially because of the magnitude of this game," said Williams, whose double-double was his 28th this season. "It was a huge game for us to come out here and win on their court and keep the streak alive."
E-mail: [email protected]