SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz stormed back from a double-digit deficit with a dominant fourth-quarter to run away from the Denver Nuggets 106-96 Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Rudy Gobert led the Jazz with 18 points and 10 rebounds as Utah had six players in double-figure scoring, while Will Barton led the Nuggets with 23 points and six rebounds in the losing effort.
The turning point: After Denver led by double digits for much of the third quarter, the Jazz closed the period on a 9-2 run — capped by a 3-pointer from Joe Johnson at the buzzer — then scored 16 of the first 18 points in the fourth quarter to build a 94-85 lead with 8:45 to play. From there, Utah maintained control to earn the win.
1. The Jazz made their first six shots of the fourth quarter and shot 50 percent (9 of 18) in the final period, compared to 33 percent (5 of 15) for Denver. Utah outscored the Nuggets 28-13 in the fourth.1 comment on this story
2. Utah forced Denver into 21 turnovers, including 10 in the final quarter. The Jazz had a 31-14 edge in points off turnovers.
3. Joe Ingles scored all 11 of his points in the second quarter, helping Utah stay close enough to rally past the Nuggets.
Jazz almanac: 1-0 in regular season
The heroes: Alec Burks and Joe Johnson were major catalysts to Utah ending the game on a 37-15 run. Burks had 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while Johnson added 13 points and four rebounds.
Next up: at Minnesota Timberwolves, Friday, Oct. 20, 6 p.m. MT
On deck: vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, Saturday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m. MT