Associated Press

Jusuf Nurkic, Jamal Murray help Nuggets beat Jazz 105-91

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DENVER (AP) — Jusuf Nurkic had 16 points and 11 rebounds and the Denver Nuggets won a home game for the second time this season, beating the Utah Jazz 105-91 on Sunday night in a matchup of struggling Western Conference teams.

Rookie Jamal Murray had 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to help Denver improve to 2-4 at the Pepsi Center. Wilson Chandler added 17, and Danilo Gallinari had 13 points, five rebounds and eight assists.

Gordon Hayward had 25 points for Utah, and Dante Exum, Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson each had 10. The Jazz have lost four straight.

Will Barton started for the banged-up Nuggets after missing his previous nine games with an ankle injury. He made a 3 on his team’s first attempt from the field and finished with seven points.

The Nuggets led by double digits most of the night and only trailed once, 2-0. Utah stayed in touch until the fourth quarter thanks to Denver’s 13-for-30 free throw shooting.

The Jazz struggled early and often in their fourth back-to-back of the season, hitting just 5 of 22 shots in the opening quarter. They trailed by 19 in the second before finding any consistency.

TIP-INS

Jazz: PF Derrick Favors missed his third straight game with a left knee bone contusion, while PG George Hill missed his eighth straight game with a sprained thumb. “Hopefully the band will be back,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said of his team’s early season injuries. “We haven’t really established a band so I don’t even know what that sounds like.” … Veteran C Boris Diaw (rest) came off the bench after sitting out Saturday’s game against Houston. He had two points.

Nuggets: G Gary Harris missed his fourth consecutive game with a right foot injury and is not expected to return until mid-December.

TIED BY INJURIES

A plethora of injuries have hindered early expectations for the Nuggets and Jazz, two teams looking to get back to the postseason. Snyder said he hopes injuries won’t link the Northwest Division rivals for long.

“We don’t really want to be cousins in that one,” he said.

UP NEXT

Jazz: Host Denver on Wednesday night.

Nuggets: End their four-game homestand on Tuesday night against Chicago.

Adrian Wojnarowski: Knicks firing David Fizdale ‘inevitable’

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Knicks president Steve Mills is reportedly laying the groundwork to fire coach David Fizdale.

One step: Mills and general manager Scott Perry addressing the media after Sunday’s loss to the Cavaliers while Fizdale was still in the locker room. Mills and Perry stressed that the team wasn’t meeting expectations, seemingly a veiled shot at the coach.

Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN:

The dismissal of David Fizdale is inevitable, and there was, I think, a bond broken between management and their head coach with how they handled things after that loss Sunday night.

Coaches are hired to be fired, but this sounds far more urgent than that.

As long as Fizdale has his job, he has a chance to save it. If the Knicks start playing better, they could keep him.

But that seems unlikely with this underwhelming roster.

Which is why New York is reportedly also considering a front-office change.

Austin Rivers calls for Doc Rivers to get technical foul (video)

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When Doc Rivers coached Austin Rivers on the Clippers, accusations of favoritism ran rampant. Playing with the Rockets against the Clippers tonight, Austin showed where his loyalties lie.

Not with his father.

The Clippers were letting the game (an eventual 102-93 Houston win) get away from them when Doc argued a call. Austin stood nearby and urged the referee to call a technical foul. The official eventually obliged and ejected Doc.

That’s when Austin really hammed it up – waving off Doc then making the call-me gesture. The disrespect!

Ja Morant hits game-winner in Grizzlies-Hornets (video)

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Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant has had a game-saving block and game-winning assist.

Now, he has the glory of a game-winning shot.

Morant sealed the Memphis’ 119-117 win over the Hornets with a driving scoop in the final second tonight. He led Memphis with 23 points and 11 assists.

P.J. Tucker misses open fastbreak layup, trips on stanchion (video)

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I want to give P.J. Tucker a break. He’s the Rockets’ most (only?) reliable defender. He has such a heavy burden covering for James Harden, Russell Westbrook and just generally undersized lineups.

But this missed layup was so bad. And that stumble over the stanchion really seals the goof.