SALT LAKE CITY — Bojan Bogdanovic scored a career-high 48 points to rally the Utah Jazz past the Denver Nuggets 127-120 on Friday night.
Bogdanovic went 16 of 23 from the field – making a career-high eight 3-pointers – to lead the NBA-leading Jazz to their fourth straight victory. He also had eight rebounds.
Utah did not trail over the final 11:22 of the fourth quarter after Niang hit back-to-back shots to give the Jazz a 103-99 lead. Denver scored just one basket over a six-minute stretch and couldn’t quite erase the resulting deficit.
The Nuggets cut it to 121-118 on a free throw from Rivers. Clarkson answered with a stepback 3-pointer with 51.7 seconds left and Bogdanovic hit a pair of free throws in the final seconds to seal the win.
Both offenses sizzled during the first quarter. Denver shot 68% from the field and Utah shot 67%. The two teams combined for 81 points and 31 total baskets in the quarter.
Denver made 11 of its first 13 shots from the field and staked out a 24-13 lead midway through the first quarter. The Nuggets repeatedly blew past perimeter defenders and scored five layups over the first six minutes – culminating with a reverse layup from Gordon that put Denver up by 11 points.
Utah answered with a 19-6 run to erase Denver’s lead before the end of the quarter. Clarkson hit three 3-pointers to level the score. Ersan Ilyasova made another 3-pointer and hit a pair of free throws to finish off the run and give the Jazz a 40-36 lead.
Denver pulled ahead again before halftime. The Nuggets built up a 58-49 lead behind a 17-6 run capped off by a Jokic jumper. Bogdanovic kept Utah within striking distance. He hit three 3-pointers to help the Jazz erase the deficit a second time and pull even at 67-67.