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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, December 13th (All times Eastern)

Utah Jazz (5-19) at Denver Nuggets (13-8), 9 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Denver Nuggets are back in the Rocky Mountains and will play four straight games at the Pepsi Center, starting with Friday's matchup with the Northwest-rival Utah Jazz.

The Nuggets went 4-2 on a six-game east coast jaunt and closed the trip with Monday's 75-74 victory at Washington. Wilson Chandler scored 17 points with eight rebounds, while Nate Robinson netted 16 off the bench.

"We didn't even get into the 80's tonight," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. "But just being able to execute down the stretch, make tough defensive stops when we needed to, I thought we did that tonight, especially at the end of the game."

Kenneth Faried came up with a huge block on Wizards star guard John Wall as he attempted a layup with 39.9 seconds left and finished with six points.

Denver's Ty Lawson missed his second consecutive game with a left hamstring strain and is probable Friday. He leads the Nuggets in points (19.3), assists (8.0) and steals (1.2).

The Nuggets, who are 9-2 in the last 11 games and 13-5 since an 0-3 start, have won six in a row at home, are 6-2 at the Pepsi Center and will also entertain New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Phoenix on the residency.

Denver closed the 2012-13 campaign with 23 consecutive home wins and also the all-time franchise home record with a 38-3 mark.

Utah ended a four-game losing streak with a 122-101 victory at Sacramento on Wednesday. Richard Jefferson scored 20 points, while Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward netted 17 points apiece for Utah, which improved to 5-19 on the season and 2-10 on the road.

"It was real fun, especially the way we shared the basketball," Hayward said. "People were playing for their teammates, not for themselves and that's the reason why we shot the ball so well and the reason why we came out on top."

The Jazz, who shot 53.9 percent and made 13-of-23 3-pointers, dished out a season-high 35 assists compared to 13 by the Kings. The 122 points were a season-best as well for the Jazz.

Utah had a season-low six turnovers.

Denver recorded a 100-81 victory in Utah on Nov. 11 and has won three straight, four of five and 11 of the last 17 matchups in this series. The Jazz have lost two in a row and nine of 12 visits to the Pepsi Center.

12/13 10:25:16 ET

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