Can you say, “8 in a row?!” The Utah Jazz are absolutely storming through teams, as they make up ground in the Western Conference. The latest vitim of their destruction was the Denver Nuggets, who, although were shorthanded, battled Utah throughout the game.
The Nuggets got a wonderful performance out of rookie point guard, Ty Lawson, who led the way for Denver with 25 points and 4 assists. His quickness was a problem all night for Jazz defenders, and he was a huge reason why the Nuggets were able to keep this one close. However, even his great play, along with Kenyon Martin (16 pts, 13 rebs), Joey Graham (16 pts), JR Smith (19 pts), and the Birdman (15 pts), were simply not enough to keep up with the offensive firepower of the Utah Jazz, who beat the Nuggets 116-106.
The Jazz once again got a great game out of Andrei Kirilenko. AK had 22 points, 4 rebounds, 5 steals, and a block, as he was able to give Denver headaches for a strong 40 minutes. The 5 steals by AK were a season-high, and they were just the thing that Utah needed to keep their distance from the Nuggets. Also, this was AK’s second 22-point game in a row. The more he becomes a part of this offense, the better the Jazz seem to play. Nuggets’ coach, George Karl, said that he thinks that AK is playing his best ball in 3 or 4 years. I would have to agree.
Utah also got a major boost from their returning power forward, Carlos Boozer, who slipped right back into position, recording his 30th double-double of the season. Boozer finished the game with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and a beautiful block. When Boozer rolled off of 2 defenders for a 2-handed slam, the crowd went wild, as they knew they had their star forward back in full form. With Boozer back, the Jazz have their best possible team, as Paul Millsap can be the energy off of the bench, who can truly propel the second unit.
In this game, Millsap played extremely efficiently, as he totaled 16 points and 6 rebounds in about 26 minutes. ‘Sap went 6-7 from the field, as he continued to take shots that were in the flow of the offense. Because he plays within the offense, the Jazz play with great chemistry when he is on the floor.
Speaking of chemistry, Utah’s leader, Deron Williams, had another fine outing on Saturday night. Williams dropped 22 points on the Nugs, and he dished out 9 assists. D-Will also collected 4 rebounds, and had an uncharacteristic 3 blocks. With Williams contributing all around, the Nuggets never really stood a chance, even though the score might have made it appear that way at some points. When Deron Williams is on his game, and he is leading the Jazz with his play and his intangibles, Utah is at its toughest. Lately, that’s the Deron Williams who is showing up, and that is why the Jazz have only lost one game since January 9th.
In their next game, the Utah Jazz will head to LA to face the Clippers on Tuesday, Feb. 9th.
- The Jazz have scored at least 101 points for 10 straight games.
- In their 8-game winning streak, Utah is winning by an average of 12.75 ppg.
- The Jazz are 22-6 at ESA.
- Ty Lawson averaged 24 points in 2 starts against Utah this season.
- Kyle Korver had his second DNP-CD in a row.
- Boozer after the game: “I felt great. I think I’m going to continue to improve. My leg felt strong enough and it’s going to get better and better.”