Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/6

Game 1: Saturday, November 6th
Game 2: Monday, November 8th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 8th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 30th

Jazz 106

(3-0, 2-0 away)

Nuggets 82

(1-2, 1-1 home)

    Coverage: KJZZ

    7:00 PM ET, November 6, 2004

    Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

    1 2 3 4 T
    UTAH 33 27 24 22106
    DEN 20 14 25 2382

    Top Performers

    UTAH: C. Boozer 30 Pts, 17 Reb, 3 Ast

    Den: E. Boykins 17 Pts, 2 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Jazz shoot 50 percent; scored 100-plus in each game

    DENVER (AP) -- Andrei Kirilenko went up for a dunk and had it blocked from behind. He grabbed the rebound, only to have the next attempt swatted away. On the third try, Kirilenko knifed between two defenders and tipped the ball into the basket.

    The Jazz were already leading by 25 points with eight minutes left in the game, so Kirilenko didn't have to put in that much effort. But he did and it provided a glimpse of the difference between Utah and the Denver Nuggets early in the season.

    With Carlos Boozer providing the offense and Kirilenko adding the grit, the surprising Jazz stayed unbeaten with a 106-82 victory over the slumping Nuggets on Saturday night.

    "I think tonight we played hard," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "Anytime you play hard, you have a chance to win."

    The Jazz have been proving their coach's point so far this season.

    After opening the season with easy wins over the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State, Utah outshot, outrebounded and outhustled Denver to put away the game early. Boozer had 30 points and 17 rebounds, Kirilenko had 16 points and tied a career-high with eight blocked shots, and the Jazz shot 50 percent to open with three straight wins for the first time since going 5-0 in 2000-01.

    Utah has shot 50 percent, scored 100 points and won by an average of 24 points in its three games this season.

    "We are playing hard and are playing good team defense, and sharing the ball offensively," Boozer said.

    The same couldn't be said for Denver.

    The Nuggets stagnated on offense, rotated poorly on defense and were booed several times by the home fans after their second lackluster effort in three games. Denver scraped out a win over Minnesota in its home opener despite poor shooting, but had no chance this time after hitting 39 percent of their shots and falling behind by 16 points in the first half.

    Carmelo Anthony had the worst of it, finishing 3-for-20 for seven points and starting the second half on the bench. Earl Boykins had 17 points, and Kenyon Martin added 14 for Denver, which is 1-2 with games against Utah, Seattle and defending champion Detroit coming up next week.

    "I was disappointed in a lot of things with a lot of people," Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik said.

    Defensively, the Nuggets couldn't find an answer for Boozer, who was 6-for-9 for 14 points with five rebounds in the first quarter. Then again, none of the Jazz were missing much. Utah hit 12 of 19 shots in the first quarter and shot 55 percent in the first half, finishing with 60 points.

    "I don't know if Denver was tired or what, but they didn't look like they wanted to play," Kirilenko said.

    Denver was even worse on offense.

    In contrast to Utah's constant motion, the Nuggets spent most of the first half standing around on the perimeter and the Jazz didn't give them much room inside when they tried taking the ball to the basket. Denver shot 38 percent in the half, scoring just 34 points and walking off the court to a chorus of boos.

    "Not much went right out there," Martin said.

    Part of the problem was Anthony.

    Last year's rookie sensation spent the preseason moving better without the ball and involving his teammates more, two things Denver's coaches asked him to work on. It hasn't carried over into the regular season.

    Standing on the wing and settling for jumpers -- much like he did in Denver's first two games -- Anthony was off target from the start. He missed 11 of 13 shots in the first half, including a second-quarter airball in front Utah's bench as the Jazz yelled "shoot, shoot!"

    Anthony, replaced by Rodney White to start the second half, is shooting 25 percent through three games.

    "It is off, there is no question about it," Bzdelik said of Anthony's shooting. "But staying within the offense, moving without the basketball, working to get good shots is everybody's responsibility. I don't want to put it on any one particular player."

    Game notes

    Denver F Nene missed his second straight game with a strained hamstring and the Nuggets aren't sure when he'll return. ... Bzdelik was called for a technical foul for arguing a call in the third quarter. ... The teams play again Monday in Utah.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 106 82
    FGM-FGA 39-77 (.506) 31-78 (.397)
    3PM-3PA 4-8 (.500) 1-8 (.125)
    FTM-FTA 24-36 (.667) 19-28 (.679)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-44 16-39
    Assists 32 20
    Turnovers 13 14
    Steals 6 6
    Blocks 8 8
    Fast Break Points 4 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 26 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Carlos Boozer Boozer
    Points: 30
    Reb: 17
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Earl Boykins Boykins
    Points: 17
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1