Nuggets ease past Jazz
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Danilo Gallinari scored 21 points and the Denver Nuggets handled the Utah Jazz with ease, 113-92, on Wednesday.
Kenneth Faried had 19 points and eight rebounds. Evan Fournier and Corey Brewer scored 18 and 14 points, respectively, off the bench for the Nuggets, who have won two straight and 17 of their last 19 games.
Denver, which has already clinched a playoff berth, is 3 1/2 games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the second spot in the Western Conference standings.
Gordon Hayward scored 18 points while Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap scored 16 points apiece, with Jefferson grabbing nine boards, for the Jazz, who had a five-game winning streak snapped.
"They got it into a tempo that was favored for them, which is one of the things we talked about, not allowing them to do and they did that," Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin said.
With the loss, Utah drops to ninth in the Western Conference standings, a half-game behind Lakers for the eighth and final spot with six games left on the schedule.
At halftime, Denver had a 56-51 lead, but began to pull away in the third.
Andre Iguodala made a 3-pointer as the Nuggets began the period on a 8-0 spurt, which ended with Iguodala on a reverse dunk, to hold a 64-51 margin with 8 1/2 minutes left.
From 6:20 to 4:11 remaining on the clock, Faried score all of Denver's eight points and the Nuggets had a 16-point advantage, 74-58.
"I felt his activity running the court and just doing the dirty work that he always does for us was great," Nuggets head coach George Karl said of Faried. "He made some really good reads against their help defense and got some easy baskets underneath the defense, and as usual he got some rebounds for us."
Fournier's layup was the final score of the frame and the Nuggets led, 81-68, entering the fourth quarter.
Utah scored 28 points in the period, but the Nuggets scored 32, thanks in large part to Gallinari and Fournier, who scored 16 and 12 points, respectively.
Fournier drilled a shot from beyond the arc with 1:05 remaining in regulation to give the Nuggets their biggest lead of the game, 113-92. Alec Burks scored four unanswered points in the final 41.9 seconds, but the game was already out of reach.
Entering the second quarter, the Nuggets led 28-23.
The Jazz were 13-of-23 from the floor in the second. However, they never attempted a free throw in the period. Meanwhile, the Nuggets were 9-of-18 in the quarter and made 9-of-10 from the foul line, allowing them to maintain the lead.
Utah's Marvin Williams scored all 10 of his points in the first half ... Denver has won two straight against Utah and won the season series 3-1. It is the Nuggets' first series victory since the 2009-10 season ... The Nuggets improved their road record to 18-21, but of the five teams in the Western Conference that have clinched a playoff berth, they are the only team under .500 on the road ... Denver is 33-13 against Western Conference teams, second only to Oklahoma City's 34-13.
04/04 00:38:58 ET