NBA Game Summary - Utah at Denver
(Tuesday, February 8th)
Final Score: Denver 97, Utah 87
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and Earl Boykins provided a spark off the bench with 20 points as Denver defeated a struggling Utah squad, 97-87, at the Pepsi Center.
Kenyon Martin added 17 while Marcus Camby collected eight points with 14 rebounds for Denver, which improved to 6-1 under new head coach George Karl. Andre Miller chipped in nine points, eight boards and 10 assists as the Nuggets improved to 7-4 in their last 11 overall.
"It was a very physical game," said Karl. "We still have a lot of room to improve."
Mehmet Okur came off the bench to pace Utah with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Raja Bell added 16 and Matt Harpring scored 15 for the disappointing Jazz, who have dropped nine of 12 and 18 of their last 23 games.
Utah did not get any help from its starters as they combined to go 5-of-27 from the floor for just 19 points in the setback.
Denver led 23-14 after one quarter of action, but Utah used a run in the opening moments of the second to get back in the game.
The Jazz scored 20 of the first 29 points of the second, turning a nine-point deficit into a slim two-point lead. The run was capped by Bell's free throw, staking Utah to a 34-32 lead with under six minutes left in the first half.
However, the Nuggets regrouped and responded with an 11-4 spurt to close out the half, regaining the lead, 43-38, as both teams headed into the locker room.
Okur paced all players with 11 points, while Anthony led Denver with 10 points at the break.
Utah proved pesky in the third and knotted the game at 48 on Okur's layup with under nine minutes left in the quarter. Denver, though, answered back with a 17-2 flurry capped by Martin's two free throws, giving the Nuggets a 65-50 edge with under four minutes remaining in the frame.
"We just need to build on what we have accomplished so far," said Martin.
The Jazz were then able to cut the deficit to eight, 72-64, heading into the fourth. The visitors continued to chip away at the lead, pulling within a 79-76 score on two free throws by Andrei Kirilenko at the 6:58 mark of the contest.
However, that was as close as Utah would get the rest of the way as Anthony and Boykins would drain back-to-back jumpers, pushing the lead to 83-76 moments later. Boykins, who ended 8-of-17 from the floor, then sealed the contest with his only trey of the game as the lead grew to 94-84 with 1:14 to go.
"We needed this (win)," said Anthony. "We need to protect our home court."
Utah shot 3-of-12 from beyond the arc, while Denver ended 2-of-8...The Jazz fell to 6-19 on the road this seasons and have lost three straight and 10 of their last 11 as the visitor...Denver improved to 15-9 at home this season... Utah is 5-25 when it scores under 100 points this season.
02/09 00:05:58 ET