The DENVER and the UTAH will both be gunning for a victory on 11/28/2017 at 10:05 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
DENVER vs UTAH
When: 10:00 PM ET, Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
|507||DENVER||-1.5 (-110)||208.5 (-110)||100
TV: 10 p.m. ET, ESPN, Altitude (Denver), AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Utah)
PREDICTION: Jazz 113, Nuggets 108
Oddsmakers currently have the UTAH listed as -1.5 point favorites versus the DENVER, while the game’s total is sitting at 208.5.
1. Jazz PG Ricky Rubio is 5-for-8 from beyond the arc over a three-game span after going 2-for-29 over his previous eight contests.
2. Nuggets SG Gary Harris has 11 steals over his last three games and is averaging 18 points since coming back from a shoulder injury five games ago.
3. Jokic was held to seven points on 3-of-10 shooting as Utah defeated Denver 106-96 in the opener for both teams Dec. 18.
SALT LAKE CITY — A common thread binds the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets together. Both teams are finding ways to adapt without key stars early in the season.
The short-handed clubs clash for the second time this season on Tuesday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Utah (9-11) has won two consecutive games and three of its last four, even while Rudy Gobert remains sidelined with a right knee contusion. The Jazz struggled initially without their star center but have started to figure things out.
ABOUT THE JAZZ (9-11): Rookie Donovan Mitchell hit six of Utah’s franchise-record 18 3-pointers in the 121-108 victory over Milwaukee on Saturday as the squad continued to lean on its perimeter game with center Rudy Gobert sidelined. “I thought we were unbelievably unselfish,” coach Quin Snyder told reporters after his team tied a season high with 31 assists. “I thought offensively, we were really connected in trying to help each other. And when you do that, you have a better chance at having a really good shooting night.” The Jazz are averaging 13.6 made 3-pointers and hitting 42.1 percent of their long-range attempts in the eight games since Gobert went down with a knee injury.
On offense, the Jazz averaged 115.5 points in their past two home wins over Chicago and Milwaukee. They shot 47.8 percent from 3-point range in that stretch and set a franchise record with 18 made 3-pointers in a 121-108 win over the Bucks on Saturday. Utah also set a season high with 31 assists against Milwaukee.
“We are starting to be a little bit more connected together as far as setting screens, knowing where guys are going to be, knowing where guys like the ball and knowing how to get guys going,” Jazz forward Derrick Favors said on Saturday. “I think we are starting to get the chemistry down. I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but we are starting to find each other easier.”
Denver (11-8) has won two of its past three since Paul Millsap went down with a left wrist injury. Millsap had surgery on the wrist on Sunday, and he is expected to miss several months. He is averaging 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists this season.
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (11-8): Kenneth Faried has made two starts in Millsap’s place since the injury, standing out in Friday’s win with 14 points and nine rebounds, and coach Michael Malone knows his veteran forward can bring something unique to the table. “What sets Kenneth apart from most people is he’s an elite runner, he’s an elite offensive rebounder and he’s an elite athlete,” Malone told reporters. Faried made 8-of-12 free throws against Memphis while his teammates combined to go 7-for-14, which dropped the team’s percentage from the line to 72 percent, 28th in the league entering Monday.
Nikola Jokic, in particular, has stepped up in Millsap’s absence. He averaged 20.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists over the past three games. Jokic produced 28 points, 13 boards and eight assists in Denver’s 104-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. With Jokic leading the way, the Nuggets shot 50.6 percent from the floor and had a 50-23 advantage in rebounds.
The 22-year old center has taken it upon himself to be more of a leader without Millsap in the lineup, and the Denver coaches like what they see so far.
“Without Paul Millsap, (Jokic) is that go-to player, not only to score but to make plays for everybody else,” Denver coach Michael Malone said on Friday. “He’s accepting the challenge to be a leader, and being a leader isn’t easy because you’ve got to do the right thing every time. Nikola is ready to do that for us.”
Utah has a young player undergoing a similar leadership evolution. Rookie guard Donovan Mitchell is taking a more active role in facilitating the offense since moving into the starting lineup, and he is starting to blossom into a much-needed go-to scorer the Jazz lacked since Gordon Hayward departed.
Mitchell had one of his best games yet against Milwaukee. He scored a team-high 24 points while making a career-high six 3-pointers. Mitchell already has six games of 20 or more points this season, tying a franchise rookie record.
He is getting a green light to make things happen on offense because he works tirelessly in games and practices to improve his game.
“Trusting Donovan is less about what he’s doing on the court as it is about how he’s approaching his craft,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said Monday. “When you see somebody that’s committed to getting better, that inspires trust because you know you’ll be rewarded.”
Utah beat Denver 106-96 in the season opener for both teams on Oct. 18. Gobert totaled 18 points and 10 rebounds to spearhead a balanced offensive effort by the Jazz. Utah had six players score in double figures in the game. Will Barton had 23 points off the bench to lead the Nuggets.