Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 1/20

Game 1: Friday, January 20th
Game 2: Wednesday, February 1st
Game 3: Wednesday, March 29th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 12th

Nuggets 83

(44-35, 18-22 away)

Jazz 104

(39-39, 21-19 home)

    Coverage: ALT

    7:00 PM ET, April 12, 2006

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 21 20 22 2083
    UTAH 25 23 23 33104

    Top Performers

    Denver: C. Anthony 18 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Utah: C. Boozer 25 Pts, 13 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

    Boozer scores 25 as Jazz beat Nuggets

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Spending the last two months below .500 didn't quite knock the Utah Jazz out of playoff contention.

    The Jazz won their fourth straight game Wednesday, beating a diluted version of the Denver Nuggets 104-83 and continuing their late push for the final playoff spot. It's still a longshot for the Jazz, who would need the Kings or Lakers to falter in the last week of the season.

    "Four more games. We still have a chance, so let's fight," Utah's Andrei Kirilenko said.

    Utah had an advantage from the start. The Nuggets, who clinched the Northwest Division on Monday night, dressed only nine players and one of them was Marcus Camby, who didn't leave the bench as he rested his back.

    Kenyon Martin (knee) missed his third straight game and the eight Nuggets who did play wilted in the fourth quarter as the Jazz pulled away with a 16-2 run.

    "It's unfortunate time is running out, but we may get some help," said Utah's Carlos Boozer, who scored 25 points and pulled down 10 of his 13 rebounds in the second half.

    Boozer was 11-for-19 from the floor, taking advantage of the short-handed Nuggets with layups and dunks all game. Utah's Deron Williams finished with 14 points and nine assists, including three of Utah's nine in the fourth quarter.

    "That was definitely one of our best quarters, especially passing the ball," Williams said. "We shared the ball well, made the extra pass. Guys got easy shots and they just really couldn't defend it."

    Mehmet Okur had 24 points and 10 rebounds. Kirilenko scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half and added seven assists for the Jazz, who hadn't been at .500 since they were 25-25.

    Utah (39-39) got within 1½ games of Sacramento for the final playoff spot, although the Kings hold the tiebreaker over the Jazz.

    Carmelo Anthony led Denver with 18 points, but didn't score in the fourth period as the Nuggets were outscored 33-20.

    "We just want to have momentum before the playoffs start," Denver's Ruben Patterson said. "We've just got to have everybody here. Kenyon and Marcus, because they dominated us tonight."

    The Jazz outrebounded the Nuggets 47-33 and outscored Denver 58-38 in the paint while winning their fourth in a row, although they let a 13-point lead fall to two in the third quarter before pulling away.

    Matt Harpring scored 13 as all five Utah starters finished in double figures.

    Linas Kleiza added 16 points and Greg Bucker scored 13 for Denver. Andre Miller had eight assists.

    Denver, which is already guaranteed the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference as the division champion, seemed to lose interest early in the fourth quarter. The Jazz, who can't afford to lose if they want to make the playoffs, pulled away with a 16-2 run early in the final period.

    Okur scored six during the run, Devin Brown scored four, outracing Anthony to the basket for a layup, and Kirilenko capped it off with a dunk on a pass from Okur, who was fed by Williams to start the play.

    "They outhustled us," Anthony said. "They outworked us."

    Game notes

    The Nuggets' three inactive spots were already full and Eduardo Najera (broken foot) didn't travel with the team. Without Camby and Martin, only eight Nuggets got in the game. ... Miller announced Tuesday a $500,000 donation to the University of Utah, his alma mater. ... Anthony joked with referee Bob Delaney that he was watching too close when Delaney called Anthony for stepping out of bounds. ... Utah improved to 21-19 at home. The Jazz hadn't been at .500 since beating Minnesota on Feb. 10.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 104
    FGM-FGA 31-71 (.437) 42-86 (.488)
    3PM-3PA 4-14 (.286) 3-11 (.273)
    FTM-FTA 17-24 (.708) 17-24 (.708)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-33 14-47
    Assists 22 26
    Turnovers 15 14
    Steals 8 8
    Blocks 2 5
    Fast Break Points 18 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (1/0) 20 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 2 21

    Top Performers

    Carmelo Anthony Anthony
    Points: 18
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Carlos Boozer Boozer
    Points: 25
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1