Vince Carter, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap

Game of the night: When the Jazz are down 18, they have you just where they want you.

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A huge comeback in an NBA game — to pick a random number, let’s say from 18 points down — is not a one-sided exercise.

That’s how fans see it, how coaches often see it. Stan Van Gundy looks at how Orlando lost to Utah 104-94 Wednesday night after leading by 18 and sees his team blowing it. Utah fans will look at it and say their team finally started putting it all together and the big runs were the result.

In reality, it takes a little from column A, a little from column B to make these kinds of things happen.

It does take complacency, it does require taking your foot off the gas for Orlando to blow this one. And Van Gundy has every right to be ticked off at his team for this — they almost did the same thing to Charlotte the other night, and then took no lessons forward. Or, they could have just watched the Jazz comeback on Miami from 24 hours before and realized the Jazz will not just roll over once down.

This is three games in a row the Jazz have come back from 18 or more down to win.

Part of why the Jazz can do this is they make smart adjustments — Jerry Sloan started posting up Deron Williams in this one and it was something the Magic never really adjusted to. (Against the Heat it was sort of the opposite, the comeback came when Williams started getting run off picks more off the ball.)

Once the Jazz started having success inside guys like Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson just took off.  Then the game had shifted, there was a 9-0 Jazz run followed closely by a 13-0 run and suddenly Stan Van Gundy was envying his brother’s job.

Coasting a little when you’re ahead is an issue for a lot of contending teams (the Lakers barely beat Minnesota last night, the Heat blew a big lead to the Jazz). The Magic are not immune, there will be games or times in games when they don’t feel challenged and they relax. Something dangerous to do in the NBA because even Minnesota has Kevin Love a roster full of guys who can score if left alone. There’s too much talent in this league to ever really relax.

The Jazz, they already have the personality of their coach — they are scrappers. There will be more come-from-behind wins because of that. But they could use a win where they were the team up 18 early someday, too.

Gallinari ready to take big role in new Nuggets offense

Danilo Gallinari, Jimmy Butler
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DENVER (AP) — Danilo Gallinari wants everyone to know this: His surgically repaired left knee, the one that took three procedures to fix and nearly two seasons to fully trust, no longer bothers him.

The Denver Nuggets forward doesn’t need to be on any sort of minutes restriction. He doesn’t need days off during the season. And he certainly doesn’t need to be coddled.

He’s Gallo again, the hard-to-guard Italian playmaker who can knock down the 3-pointer just as easily as drive to the hoop or even post up. He believes he will fit in quite nicely into new coach Michael Malone’s system.

“The thing I’m focused on is trying to get (this team) back to the same level that the Nuggets were when I got to Denver, when we were going to the playoffs easy. When we were clinching a playoff one or two weeks before the season was over,” said Gallinari, who was acquired in the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. “We need to get back to that level.”

Almost seems so long ago, given that the Nuggets have missed the playoffs two straight seasons after consistently making it for nearly a decade.

Gallinari returned last season for the first time since blowing out his knee in a game on April 4, 2013. His minutes were closely monitored early in the season. He never really got completely on track until late last season, when he averaged 20.5 points over the final 10 contests, including a career-high 47 against Dallas. He’s hoping to carry that kind of confidence this season.

“I’m good to go. I was good to go as soon as the beginning of last year,” Gallinari said. “I was not on the same page with the coach that we had.”

That would be Brian Shaw, who was fired last March after 1 1/2 seasons in charge and going 56-85. Exactly why he wasn’t on the same page with Shaw, well, Gallinari preferred the past remain the past.

“I’m ready to play the new season,” he said. “We need to win games, and get back to the same level we were before.”

Gallinari thinks the Nuggets have the personnel to do just that, especially with a rookie point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and Gallinari’s knee feeling better than it has in a while. He feels like he has some ground to make up, too, since he said that knee robbed him of some of his prime.

“Playing my best basketball right before I got injured,” the 27-year old said. “Now, we’re back to the same level, hopefully better.

“My knee has been feeling great. It felt great last year. Feeling great during the summer. Feeling great now. I just feel good.”

He spent the summer playing for the Italian team at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game. In those games, Gallinari saw quite a bit of time at the four spot on the floor, forcing teams to either use a bulkier big man to cover him and risk getting burned on a drive or a smaller player that Gallinari could simply shoot over.

Malone plans to employ a similar type approach, something they discussed over gelato when the coach visited Gallinari in Italy soon after he was hired.

“He’s 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.”

Gallinari wants the responsibility of being the go-to player for the Nuggets this season, especially at crunch time.

“I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari said. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.

“I want to have the ball in my hands. I do want to have the ball in my hands a lot more.”

Knicks’ Rookie Jerian Grant gets up, throws it down (VIDEO)

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The Knicks did well trading for Jerian Grant on date night — he’s going to be able to walk in this year and play quality minutes off the bench.

And, he can get up and throw it down.

Carmelo Anthony had 18 points to lead the Knicks to a 94-88 win over the Sixers.