The Utah Jazz (2-1) rallied from a seven-point first-quarter deficit to claim an 87-69 decision over the Denver Nuggets (1-2) in UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center Tuesday. The come-from-behind win was sparked by a 48-20 run from that began with 2:25 remaining in the first quarter and spanned more than 20 minutes.
Seven different players had a hand in the comeback with Trey Burke and Malcolm Thomas contributing 11 and 10 points, respectively, while Erik Murphy (nine points), Ian Clark (eight), Dante Exum (six), Niels Giffey (three) and Rodney Hood (one) also played a part.
Utah opened up the game with a jumper by Hood, but then watched Denver score 15 of the next 21 points for its first seven-point lead at 15-8. The Nuggets managed to reach that plateau two other times before the Jazz caught fire beginning with a jumper by Burke.
That basket began the process of Utah chipping away at the deficit until it was chiseled to three points to end the first 10 minutes of action. Clark then evened the score at 24-all with a deep 3-pointer that was followed by a dunk by Exum that pushed the Jazz ahead for good early in the third.
Clark and Murphy led Utah with 17 apiece, while Thomas had a double-double with a combination of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Burke closed out the Jazz quartet in double figures with 11 tallies of his own.
Denver's Gary Harris had a game-high 18 points off a 6-for-20 day from the field with a perfect 5-for-5 showing from the free throw line. Erick Green added 13 more for the Nuggets. Jerelle Benimon led all in rebounds with 11 and was two points shy of his own double-double with nine scores.
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