DENVER (AP) -- The Utah Jazz have been frustrated all season, but
their despondence reached a new low after their starters combined
for just 19 points.
The Denver Nuggets capitalized on the futility as Earl Boykins
came off the bench to score 20 points, outscoring all five Utah
starters by himself, and Carmelo Anthony had 25 points in the
Nuggets' 97-87 victory over the Jazz on Tuesday night.
"Not too many people can win that way unless the other team
doesn't show up," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "It didn't appear
that we showed up."
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time a team's
starters combined for 19 points or less was when Denver's starting
five had 15 points against Indiana on No. 11, 2003.
"We were frustrated, got sat on the bench and didn't have a
chance to play," said Kirilenko, who was limited to 23 minutes.
"It was a right decision because we didn't play good."
Kenyon Martin had 17 points and Marcus Camby added 14 rebounds
and seven blocks as the Nuggets improved to 5-1 under new coach
George Karl. Of the five victories, none have come against a team
with a winning record.
"It was the best game that Carmelo has played for us," Karl
said. "We probably didn't get him the ball as much as we should
After Okur's tip in made it 48-48 with 8:18 left in the third
quarter, Anthony had two dunks and nine points in a 13-0 run. Utah
was 0-for-10 in the four-minute stretch before Harpring's two free
Martin scored seven points over the final 4:42, and the Nuggets
took a 72-64 lead into the fourth quarter.
Boozer's tip and a short jumper by Gordan Giricek closed the gap
to 77-74, and the Jazz's deficit remained three after two free
throws by Kirilenko with 6:58 remaining. Boykins buried a long
jumper with 4:50 left, two of six points in a 10-4 run to put
Denver ahead 89-80. Boykins had two more baskets over the last four
The Jazz shot only 5-of-22 in the first quarter. While Utah
struggled, Anthony had eight points and Denver led 23-14.
"We played well defensively at the start and gave ourselves a
chance," Anthony said. "We had no worries about them getting back
in the game."
The teams reversed roles in the second half, with the Jazz going
5-for-8 shooting and Bell's jumper capping a 17-7 run to put the
Jazz ahead 31-30. Camby had six points and blocked a shot as Denver
outscored Utah 13-7 in the last 6:12 to take a 43-38 lead at the
"Our shot selection played right into their hands because they
want to push the ball on you and they pushed it right down our
throats," Sloan said. "We got back into the ballgame but we
couldn't sustain it."<
^Notes@: Kirilenko has struggled since his return from a knee
injury. "You have to remember he is carrying an added package with
him (brace)," Sloan said. "That's something to get used to." ...
The Jazz are 5-9 on the second night of back-to-back games. ...
Anthony lost his shorts and missed a layup in the first quarter.
... Karl didn't think Anthony warranted All-Star consideration.
"I'd say no," Karl said. "The performance of the team is taken
into account and Denver has been struggling."