Regular Season Series (Game 4 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

Nuggets 109

(39-31, 14-21 away)

Jazz 98

(22-49, 15-21 home)

    Coverage: FSRM

    7:00 PM ET, March 30, 2005

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 33 16 27 33109
    UTAH 27 19 30 2298

    Top Performers

    Den: M. Camby 23 Pts, 16 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

    UTAH: M. Okur 23 Pts, 17 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk

    Miller's 24, Camby's 23 the difference

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Denver coach George Karl sounded more concerned than impressed when the Nuggets moved into a tie for the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference playoff race.

    The Nuggets beat the Utah Jazz 109-98 Wednesday night, but it was not one of the more memorable games the team has had during its remarkable turnaround under Karl.

    "I've got to worry about getting our team back to playing a little bit better basketball. I think the last two games our defense has been worrisome to me," Karl said.

    The Nuggets were coming off a 123-114 loss at Phoenix two nights before and were flat for the first three quarters against a depleted Jazz lineup. Denver finally pulled away in the fourth quarter when Andre Miller and Marcus Camby got the offense running.

    "I think we just came out a little bit sharper than they did. We stressed how important this game was," said Miller, who had 24 points and nine assists. "We were just trying to get into a rhythm. We were definitely trying to push the tempo and get up and down the court."

    Camby scored 12 of his 23 points in the final quarter and pulled down 16 rebounds, and Carmelo Anthony added 23 points for the Nuggets.

    With the win, Denver (39-31) tied Memphis for the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference playoff race.

    "It's still early. We've got like 12 ballgames left. We've still got to worry about Minnesota on our heels," said Camby, who also had four blocks.

    Denver improved to 22-6 under Karl, but the Nuggets needed to rally after falling behind by four early in the final quarter and led by more than seven until late in the game. Earl Boykins added 11 points and six assists off the bench.

    Mehmet Okur led the Jazz with 23 points and 17 rebounds and Matt Harpring finished with 16 points, but Utah had nothing left at the end to slow down Miller and Camby.

    "It was close and we turned the ball over a couple times," Okur said. "I don't know how many games we've lost in the last quarter. Maybe 20, maybe more. We got to look forward now."

    It's a wonder the Jazz stayed in it as long as they did. Although Denver's Kenyon Martin missed his second straight game with a bruised chest, the Nuggets still appeared to have a clear advantage against the Jazz's 26th starting lineup of the season.

    Utah has already lost its top two scorers for the season and was playing without guards Raja Bell (shin) and Kirk Snyder, who was benched by coach Jerry Sloan for taunting in front of Houston's bench Monday.

    The Jazz were still able to stay in it with reserve center Curtis Borchardt's career-high 12 points, journeyman Randy Livingston scoring 10 and Ben Handlogten adding 11 points.

    "We looked like we had a chance to maybe win the ballgame, then we gave them a couple of easy baskets and then we couldn't make stops," Sloan said. "Same things we've had problems with all year long."

    Utah went up 81-77 on a layup by Borchardt early in the fourth before Denver finally started running.

    Camby tied the game at 83-all on an alley-oop from Anthony, then Miller made two free throws and a layup during a 10-2 run that put the Nuggets in control. The Jazz never got closer than three points the rest of the game.

    Game notes

    Denver has won 15 of 17. ... The 5-foot-5 Boykins plucked a rebound from the 7-foot Okur in the third quarter. ... Former Jazz guard John Stockton was honored before the game when an 8-foot bronze statue of him was unveiled south of the arena. Stockton watched the game from the stands with his family and he received a standing ovation when he was introduced in the second quarter. A Utah fan shouted "Come back John!" after the final horn.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 109 98
    FGM-FGA 39-71 (.549) 40-81 (.494)
    3PM-3PA 2-11 (.182) 2-11 (.182)
    FTM-FTA 29-40 (.725) 16-25 (.640)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-39 12-36
    Assists 22 22
    Turnovers 18 15
    Steals 8 7
    Blocks 4 2
    Fast Break Points 16 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (3/0) 31 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 13 4

    Top Performers

    Marcus Camby Camby
    Points: 23
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 4
    Mehmet Okur Okur
    Points: 23
    Reb: 17
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1