SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Jazz are off to their
highest-scoring start in nearly a decade.
The Jazz improved to 4-0 Monday night with a 102-91 win over the
Denver Nuggets, sweeping the home-and-home series and topping 100
points for the fourth time this season. Utah hadn't opened with
four straight 100-point games since 1995-96, when the Jazz topped
100 five times during a 4-1 start.
"I'm not worried about that. I'm just worried about winning,"
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "But from a fan standpoint, I
wouldn't mind getting five or six."
Andrei Kirilenko led the Jazz with 24 points to go with five
blocks, four assists and steals, and six rebounds.
"We get the loose balls. We grab every rebound. We play like a
team," said Okur, who signed last summer as a free agent. "We
play together. We play smart."
Utah went 1-3 against the Nuggets last season and was edged out
by them for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"We've been doing some good things. I don't think we're as good
as we're going to be, but people are starting to really feel their
way around the team," Bell said.
Denver fell to 1-3 after struggling again from the floor. The
Nuggets shot 42 percent, their best performance of the young
Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 17 points and eight
rebounds. He scored 12 points in the final period as Denver tried
to come back after falling behind by as much as 22.
"We let those guys get that cushion and we were never able to
catch up," Marcus Camby said.
Earl Boykins added 13 points, and Andre Miller and Greg Buckner
scored 11 apiece for Denver. Kenyon Martin finished with 14 points,
but had only two in the second half. The Nuggets play again
Wednesday night against Seattle at home, where they were booed off
the court Saturday during a 106-82 loss to the Jazz.
"We've got to get our fans back. When your own fans boo you,
that's bad right there," Anthony said.
The Jazz continued to win by shooting better than 50 percent.
Utah was shooting 53 percent entering the game and went 36-for-71
The game wasn't as much of a rout as Saturday, when the Nuggets
came out slow and never got going.
"Last game they didn't want to play," Kirilenko said.
"Tonight, it's another business."
Utah led 56-41 at halftime after Keith McLeod hit a running
jumper just before the buzzer. The Jazz picked up the pace after
the break with an alley-oop from McLeod to Kirilenko during a 7-0
run. Denver didn't get a field goal in the third period until Greg
Buckner's three-point play 3:02 into the quarter.
The Nuggets took advantage of some sloppy play in the fourth
quarter and slowly chipped away. Boykins hit a short jumper later
in the quarter, then found Camby with a pass underneath for a dunk
that cut the margin to 86-76. But Utah answered with a 15-footer
from Bell and a layup by Kirilenko with about five minutes left.
The Nuggets didn't get closer than 11 again until Bryon
Russell's jumper cut it to 98-89 with about 1:20 remaining.
The Nuggets were just 5-for-18 and were outscored 29-12 in
the second quarter. ... Miller, a former All-American at the
University of Utah, was the only Nuggets player who was cheered
On the Net:
Denver Nuggets: http://www.nba.com/nuggets
Utah Jazz: http://www.nba.com/jazz
National Basketball Association: http://www.nba.com