National Basketball Association
Utah at Denver
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 12, 2014
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Timofey Mozgov is coming off the best performance of his NBA career and attempts to put together another strong effort when the Denver Nuggets host the Utah Jazz on Saturday. Mozgov tied his career high with 23 points and grabbed 29 rebounds – third most in franchise history – as the Nuggets recorded a dramatic 100-99 win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. The only Denver players to grab more rebounds are Spencer Haywood and Dikembe Mutombo, who share the club mark of 31.
Utah is just 3-19 over its last 22 games in one of the most dismal seasons in franchise history. The Jazz need to sweep their final three contests to avoid having their lowest win total since a 26-56 record in 2004-05. Denver has knocked off playoff-bound Houston and Golden State in its last two outings, which has encouraged coach Brian Shaw. “This is all about momentum for us going into next season,” Shaw said after Thursday’s win. “We’ve been talking (about) the way we’re going to need to play, regardless of who’s out there, and the effort that we need to compete every night.”TV:
9 p.m. ET, ROOT (Utah), Altitude (Denver)ABOUT THE JAZZ (24-55):
Utah’s young squad is wobbling to the finish line and veteran forward Richard Jefferson is working on the players’ psyche to ensure there is a strong effort down the stretch. “Finishing strong is not necessarily wins and losses,” Jefferson told reporters. “It’s playing hard. It’s staying focused. It’s not about shooting percentage. It’s not how many points you score. Especially with our team – it’s not necessarily how many wins and losses you have – it’s just about how you approach each game.”
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (35-44):
The 7-1 Mozgov’s big effort on the boards exceeded his total (28) over the previous five games and he played a sturdy 43 minutes. “He just did it all,” Shaw told reporters. “That’s huge for him. We made a change a month-and-a-half ago to put him in the starting lineup and see what he could do. He’s starting to show us what he’s capable of.” Power forward Kenneth Faried also had a huge outing against the Warriors, scoring 18 points, collecting a season-high 17 rebounds and making the winning basket with 0.5 seconds left.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Jazz have won two of this season’s three meetings, including a 103-93 road win on Dec. 13.
2. Nuggets G Randy Foye is averaging 20.5 points over the last four games and is 16-of-33 from 3-point range during the stretch.
3. Utah has lost 12 of its last 13 road games with eight of the last nine defeats being by double digits.PREDICTION:
Nuggets 111, Jazz 92
Stats and Records