DENVER (AP) — Ty Lawson and Jameer Nelson each scored 18 points as the Denver Nuggets beat Utah 107-91 on Friday night, handing the Jazz their fourth straight loss.
Right around tip-off, the Jazz announced Hot Rod Hundley, the former NBA player who broadcast Jazz games in New Orleans and Utah for 35 years, had died. He was 80. Hundley called 3,051 Jazz games from 1974-2009. There was a tribute to Hundley before the game.
Danilo Gallinari played with a sore right triceps and finished with 13 points for the Nuggets, who never trailed after he gave them a 3-0 lead on a long jumper moments into the game.
Denver improved to 8-6 since interim coach Melvin Hunt took over for Brian Shaw.
Gordon Hayward scored 24 points in his return after sitting out two games with a sprained shoulder. Rudy Gobert finished with 14 points and 14 points for his 18th double-double.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder began pulling some of his starters midway through the fourth quarter with the Nuggets up by 17 points. A few minutes later, they were all on the bench.
Utah cut the lead to seven points in the third quarter, but then Derrick Favors picked up his fourth foul and had to sit. The Nuggets steadily began to pull away, leading by 12 heading into the final quarter.
It was a streaky first half for both teams, with Denver going on a 13-0 run and Utah answering right back with a 10-0 run. The Nuggets then went on a 10-0 spurt. After that, both teams began trading baskets as Denver took a 52-39 lead at the half.
Jazz: Guard-forward Rodney Hood missed a second straight game with what the team called gastrointestinal distress. ... Owner Gail Miller said in a statement that Hundley's voice was "synonymous with Jazz radio. The expressions he used throughout the game broadcasts are legendary." Hundley's signature line was, "You Gotta Love it, Baby!" ... Reserve Elijah Millsap had 16 points.
Nuggets: Hunt said it's easier if he doesn't make eye contact with F Darrell Arthur (strained right calf), who sat on the bench in warmups but didn't play. He knows Arthur wants to play even though he's dinged up. "I always tell him, 'Don't look at me,'" Hunt said. "If I don't make eye contact with him, I can protect him. If I make eye contact, he might get out there." ... A phone beeped as Hunt was speaking to reporters before the game. He stopped mid-sentence and playfully said: "That's a $500 fine." ... Will Barton had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Jazz: Host Oklahoma City on Saturday.
Nuggets: At Portland on Saturday.