Nuggets and Jazz meet in the Rockies

A pair of Northwest Division rivals get together this evening in the Rocky Mountains, as the Denver Nuggets take on the visiting Utah Jazz from the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets will open play at home Wednesday and kicked off the condensed 2011-12 campaign with a 115-93 victory over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks in Big D.

Ty Lawson scored 27 points, while Andre Miller and Al Harrington both scored 18 for Denver, which went 50-32 last season and lost to Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoffs.

"I've been saying the whole time that we've been playing well together," Lawson said. "There are a bunch of good players on this team and I knew that we were going to come out strong."

Danilo Gallinari added 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the win. The Nuggets will play back-to-back road games against the Blazers and Lakers after hosting the rival Jazz.

Utah will play three of its first four games away from Salt Lake City and suffered a 96-71 loss to the Lakers last night in their season opener.

Paul Millsap led the Jazz with 18 points and eight boards and Josh Howard finished with 10 points in defeat. Utah big man Al Jefferson was held to four points on 2-of-16 shooting.

"We missed a lot of shots," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We had good execution, we just missed shots."

Corbin's squad made just 32.2 percent of its shots. The Jazz will open their home schedule Friday night versus Philadelphia.

Utah and Denver split four meetings a season ago, but the Nuggets have won six of the past nine contests in this series. Utah has also lost six of its previous eight stops in the Rockies.