Nuggets-Jazz Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 23, 2012
The Denver Nuggets are currently in playoff position in the tightly-packed Western Conference, though the Utah Jazz are closing in quickly. Utah seeks its sixth straight victory Friday night when it hosts Denver, which begins a season-high seven-game road trip. The Jazz (25-22) won their season-best fifth consecutive game Thursday, 103-102 at Sacramento after Al Jefferson scored on a putback of a Devin Harris miss with less than a second remaining. Jefferson finished with a game-high 26 points for Utah, which sits in ninth place in the West but can create a three-way tie with Denver and Houston for the final two playoff spots with a win Friday. Coach Tyrone Corbin may not have been pleased his team blew a 14-point second-half lead, but any type of victory given the Jazz's situation will do for him. "We are in a playoff hunt ... so this win was nice for us," Corbin said. "We're fighting and scratching and doing whatever it takes to win." Utah is also seeking to win seven in a row at home for the first time since a 10-game run Feb. 24-April 6, 2010. To achieve that, the Jazz will need to slow Denver (26-21), which is coming off a dramatic victory of its own. The Nuggets concluded a 5-4 homestand Wednesday by beating Detroit 116-115 on JaVale McGee's follow-up dunk with five seconds remaining. McGee finished with 15 points in his Nuggets debut after being acquired from Washington at the trade deadline, and Ty Lawson scored a team-high 25. Now, the Nuggets take to the road, where they are averaging a league-high 105.8 points. "Personally, I'm a road-type player," Lawson told the team's official website. "I like hearing boos and stuff like that. I'm ready for it, especially going to Utah and Chicago (on Monday) and places that have rowdy crowds. I love it." Lawson also recognizes the importance of Friday's matchup. "It's going to be a big game," he said. "Both teams know it's a big game. We need to get this win. We're going to be ready for it." After the lengthy homestand, the Nuggets will be living out of suitcases until April 6, when they return to Colorado to host Phoenix. They haven't played away from home since sweeping a two-game Texas trip by beating Houston and San Antonio on March 2 and 4. "I saw this road trip and said we're going to have to win three or four of those games," coach George Karl said. "To get in a good April position, we have to win three or four of these." These teams split their two previous meetings this season, both in Denver. Lawson scored 15 points in the Nuggets' 117-100 victory Dec. 28, but Paul Millsap had 26 points and 12 rebounds to help the Jazz win the Jan. 15 rematch 106-96. The Nuggets learned Thursday that backup guard Rudy Fernandez will have surgery to repair a nagging lower back injury that may sideline him for the rest of the season. The former Portland Trail Blazer has averaged 8.6 points while appearing in 31 games in his first season in Denver.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with hip-hop star Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

RUMOR: Celtics sign Green, Zeller and two others to contract deals

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker