DEN
UTA

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Burks takes over in 4th, Jazz beat Nuggets 106-96

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Alec Burks showed glimpses during the preseason, and on opening night delivered more proof that the athletic player that used to score points in droves is back.

Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Burks had 16 and the Utah Jazz beat the Denver Nuggets 106-96 on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.

The new-look Jazz - without Gordon Hayward and George Hill - trailed most of the night before Burks took over with a spectacular fourth quarter. The versatile seventh-year wing has missed most of the last three seasons due to a litany of injuries, 146 games to be exact, but showed no lingering effects.

''It's surreal,'' Burks said. ''I've been through a lot, injury-wise. It's just great to be out there healthy. ... I had a bad year last year because I wasn't healthy.

''I was aggressive and things happened to open up. Teams start relaxing. Things happen.''

Burks scored 12 points during a 25-4 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters. The Jazz trailed 83-78 going into the fourth quarter. Burks threw down a dunk, hit a pair 3-pointers and then gave the Jazz a 94-85 lead off a reverse layup.

''You feel him over the period of a couple years and he's not just hungry,'' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ''The adversity has tightened his game up a little bit. He played good defense.

''He's taken a lot of pride in how he's defended, too. It's become important to him. ... Happy for Alec and his teammates are happy for him.''

Utah picked up the defense in the final period, which helped extend the run to 31-5 and put away Denver. Snyder credited the second unit and said the team stayed persistent defensively against an explosive Denver offense.

''Three pretty good quarters and in the fourth quarter we just imploded,'' Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. ''That's not really fun to see, especially with the season-opening game.''

Derrick Favors added 14 and Ricky Rubio had 10 assists in his first game with the Jazz.

Will Barton led the Nuggets with 23 points and Paul Millsap added 19.

The Nuggets took a 58-49 lead into halftime, sparked by a 17-4 first-quarter run. Denver was 9 for 16 from 3-point range in the first half.

''They turned it up, we didn't,'' Millsap said. ''I thought for three quarters we did an amazing job on both ends of the court. Offensively and defensively, we did what we wanted to do. I think toward the end of the third quarter and in the fourth quarter, we just fell apart.

''It's a learning experience for us. We'll watch film tomorrow and get better from it.''

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Jamal Murray started at point guard and Emmanuel Mudiay came off the bench. ... Denver was outscored 28-13 in the fourth quarter. ... Nikola Jokic finished with seven points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

Jazz: Rodney Hood was pulled out of the starting lineup at the last second due to gastric distress. Rookie Donovan Mitchell made his first career start in his place. Hood entered later in the first quarter and played 18 minutes. ... Dante Exum (left shoulder) and Raul Neto (right hamstring) were both out.

YOUNG DUO

Malone downplayed the significance of which of his young point guards started the game. Denver fans are eager to see how the two early draft picks play together and how the minutes are distributed. Mudiay was the No. 7 overall pick in 2015 and Murray was No. 7 in 2016.

''It's going to be a great challenge for them,'' Malone said. ''We feel confident in both Jamal and Emanuel. They're both going to get great opportunities to play regardless of who's starting.

''When they're struggling, the great about our team is we're not solely relying on those guys to carry our team. We play through our big guys so much that the true point guard is really not around that much anymore. Nikola and Paul are our facilitators, our playmakers.''

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Denver hosts George Hill and the Sacramento Kings in their home opener on Saturday.

Jazz: Utah travels to face Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday in Rubio's first game against his former team.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
+ 3 Emmanuel Mudiay made 3-pt. jump shot 0:18
  Offensive foul on Ricky Rubio 0:24
  Offensive foul on Ricky Rubio 0:24
+ 3 Emmanuel Mudiay made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Malik Beasley 0:42
  Defensive rebound by Malik Beasley 0:45
  Thabo Sefolosha missed driving layup 0:47
  Lost ball turnover on Malik Beasley 1:09
  Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic 1:31
  Derrick Favors missed layup 1:31
  Defensive rebound by Ricky Rubio 1:36
  Will Barton missed jump shot 1:39
Team Stats
Points 96 106
Field Goals 36-77 (46.8%) 41-81 (50.6%)
3-Pointers 13-27 (48.1%) 9-24 (37.5%)
Free Throws 11-12 (91.7%) 15-16 (93.8%)
Total Rebounds 43 40
Offensive 7 6
Defensive 31 30
Team 5 4
Assists 21 28
Steals 4 9
Blocks 3 5
Turnovers 21 15
Fouls 18 18
Technicals 1 0
away team logo
W. Barton G 5
23 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST
home team logo
R. Rubio G 3
9 PTS, 5 REB, 10 AST
1234T
away team logo Nuggets 0-1 3028251396
home team logo Jazz 1-021282928106
Team Stats
away team logoNuggets 0-1 107.3 PPG 44.9 RPG 23.1 APG
home team logoJazz 1-0 103.1 PPG 40 RPG 21.8 APG
Key Players
W. Barton G 16.1 PPG 5.3 RPG 3.2 APG 46.9 FG%
R. Gobert C 12.6 PPG 10.0 RPG 1.3 APG 61.3 FG%
Top Scorers
W. Barton G 23 PTS 6 REB 2 AST
R. Gobert C 18 PTS 10 REB 1 AST
46.8 FG% 50.6
48.1 3PT FG% 37.5
91.7 FT% 93.8
Nuggets
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
P. Millsap 33 19 6 1 0 0 5 3 7/15 1/5 4/5 1 5 22 -6
G. Harris 35 14 5 3 1 0 1 2 5/7 3/3 1/1 1 4 25 0
W. Chandler 34 9 2 1 2 1 1 2 4/11 1/4 0/0 1 1 15 -23
J. Murray 19 8 2 2 0 0 3 2 2/6 2/5 2/2 1 1 11 +9
N. Jokic 35 7 12 8 0 0 4 1 3/10 1/4 0/0 0 12 31 -9
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
P. Millsap 33 19 6 1 0 0 5 3 7/15 1/5 4/5 1 5 22 -6
G. Harris 35 14 5 3 1 0 1 2 5/7 3/3 1/1 1 4 25 0
W. Chandler 34 9 2 1 2 1 1 2 4/11 1/4 0/0 1 1 15 -23
J. Murray 19 8 2 2 0 0 3 2 2/6 2/5 2/2 1 1 11 +9
N. Jokic 35 7 12 8 0 0 4 1 3/10 1/4 0/0 0 12 31 -9
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
W. Barton 31 23 6 2 1 1 3 2 8/14 3/4 4/4 1 5 32 -10
E. Mudiay 18 8 1 2 0 0 0 1 3/8 2/2 0/0 0 1 13 -12
M. Plumlee 15 6 2 1 0 1 2 5 3/5 0/0 0/0 1 1 9 -14
K. Faried 6 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 1 0 2 +2
T. Lyles 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 +6
M. Beasley 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 2 +6
J. Hernangomez 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 +1
D. Arthur - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lydon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Morris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Craig - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Nelson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 233 96 38 21 4 3 21 18 36/77 13/27 11/12 7 31 162 -50
Jazz
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Gobert 35 18 10 1 0 1 6 4 7/9 0/0 4/4 3 7 25 -14
D. Favors 28 14 4 4 1 0 1 4 7/14 0/1 0/0 0 4 26 +4
J. Ingles 32 11 5 6 2 0 0 3 4/6 3/5 0/0 0 5 30 -6
D. Mitchell 26 10 1 4 0 1 3 1 3/11 0/2 4/4 0 1 17 +22
R. Rubio 31 9 5 10 2 0 3 1 3/9 1/5 2/3 0 5 33 -14
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Gobert 35 18 10 1 0 1 6 4 7/9 0/0 4/4 3 7 25 -14
D. Favors 28 14 4 4 1 0 1 4 7/14 0/1 0/0 0 4 26 +4
J. Ingles 32 11 5 6 2 0 0 3 4/6 3/5 0/0 0 5 30 -6
D. Mitchell 26 10 1 4 0 1 3 1 3/11 0/2 4/4 0 1 17 +22
R. Rubio 31 9 5 10 2 0 3 1 3/9 1/5 2/3 0 5 33 -14
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
A. Burks 15 16 1 0 1 0 0 1 7/10 2/2 0/0 0 1 18 +16
J. Johnson 19 13 4 1 1 0 1 3 5/10 1/4 2/2 2 2 19 +6
T. Sefolosha 20 7 2 2 2 0 0 0 3/7 0/2 1/1 0 2 15 +25
R. Hood 17 6 2 0 0 0 0 1 2/4 2/3 0/0 0 2 8 -13
E. Udoh 12 2 2 0 0 3 1 0 0/1 0/0 2/2 1 1 6 +24
J. Jerebko - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. O'Neale - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Neto - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Wolters - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Griffin - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Exum - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Bradley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 106 36 28 9 5 15 18 41/81 9/24 15/16 6 30 197 +50