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.
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.
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.
Jazz: Host Denver on Wednesday night.
Nuggets: End their four-game homestand on Tuesday night against Chicago.