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Murray scores 22 as Nuggets beat Jazz 107-83

DENVER (AP) Jamal Murray was given the job as Denver's starting point guard before the season began. He is proving to be a worthy choice.

Murray scored 13 of his 22 points in the first quarter and the Nuggets overcame the ejection of Nikola Jokic to beat the Utah Jazz 107-83 on Tuesday night.

Murray has scored 20 or more points 11 times this season and is averaging 17.7 points per game in December while running Denver's offense. He scored five straight points when the Jazz cut a 21-point lead to 14 after Jokic was ejected.

''Jamal's a confident player,'' Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. ''He's not scared of the moment. He made some big plays and some athletic plays, and it was great to see.''

Jokic had 13 points and seven rebounds before getting tossed in the fourth quarter. Wilson Chandler and Gary Harris scored 15 apiece to help Denver win its third in a row.

Despite the rout, Jokic got tangled up with Jonas Jerebko early in the fourth and was called for a flagrant 2 foul and ejected from the game.

''We were running together and he started bumping into me,'' Jokic said. ''First time, second time, third time, and I tried to swim over him and I hit him. If I'm going to hit the guy I'm not going to hit him (like that). I didn't do it on purpose. I was surprised I got ejected.''

The Jazz cut it to 79-65 after Jokic left, but Murray converted a three-point play and Trey Lyles had a driving dunk to push the lead to 90-72 with 5:38 left.

Derrick Favors had 20 points, and Jerebko and Donovan Mitchell each scored 13 for the Jazz.

''They broke us. We weren't consistent,'' Utah coach Quin Snyder said. ''We didn't string together possessions where we had two, three, four, five, six possessions with stops. And when we did have a few possessions where we got stops, we weren't able to convert on the other end.''

The Nuggets showed no sign of complacency after big road wins at Portland and Golden State last weekend. They used a 12-0 run late in the first quarter to take a 13-point lead, and another big spurt at the end of the second to lead 50-34 at halftime.

Unlike the two meetings in Utah this season, Denver didn't collapse in the second half. The Nuggets led by 21 less than four minutes into the third and maintained a comfortable lead throughout the second half to improve to 12-3 at home.

TIP-INS

Jazz: Mitchell entered second in the NBA in scoring among rookies at 18 points per game. Lakers G Kyle Kuzma (18.1 ppg) is first. ... G Raul Neto missed his eighth straight game with a concussion. ... C Rudy Gobert (left knee sprain) was with the team but sat out for the sixth straight game.

Nuggets: G Emmanuel Mudiay was active after missing four straight games with a sprained right ankle. He entered in the final two minutes and scored seven points. He hit a 3-pointer, was fouled and made the free throw and then hit another 3 on Denver's next possession. ... Denver held the Jazz to 28.9 percent shooting in the first half and a season-low 34 points over the first two quarters. ... Lyles had 16 points and eight rebounds against his former team.

HEADS UP

Lyles enjoyed beating his old team, but it wasn't all fun. Late in the fourth quarter he and Utah rookie Nazareth Mitrou-Long knocked heads, leaving Lyles with a sizable knot while Mitrou-Long needed nine stitches. ''Luckily, got away with the lesser of two evils,'' Lyles said.

Mitrou-Long shook off his injury.

''It is not as bad as it looks,'' he said. ''I have no hockey in my background, but I was a bouncer before so I got hit in the head a couple of times.''

UP NEXT

Jazz: Play at Golden State on Wednesday night.

Nuggets: Travel to Minnesota to play the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

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Key Players
R. Hood
5 SG
N. Jokic
15 C
29.8 Min. Per Game 29.8
16.1 Pts. Per Game 16.1
4.5 Ast. Per Game 4.5
10.3 Reb. Per Game 10.3
41.4 Field Goal % 51.2
42.0 Three Point % 51.4
86.8 Free Throw % 87.0
  Defensive rebound by Torrey Craig 0:00
  Royce O'Neale missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:04
+ 3 Emmanuel Mudiay made 3-pt. jump shot 0:19
+ 1 Ekpe Udoh made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:39
+ 1 Ekpe Udoh made 1st of 2 free throws 0:39
  Personal foul on Torrey Craig 0:39
  Team rebound 0:39
  Royce O'Neale missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:40
+ 1 Emmanuel Mudiay made free throw 0:45
  Shooting foul on Ricky Rubio 0:45
+ 3 Emmanuel Mudiay made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Torrey Craig 0:45
Team Stats
Points 83 107
Field Goals 27-84 (32.1%) 39-81 (48.1%)
3-Pointers 10-35 (28.6%) 11-30 (36.7%)
Free Throws 19-23 (82.6%) 18-22 (81.8%)
Total Rebounds 51 56
Offensive 12 10
Defensive 30 43
Team 9 3
Assists 19 23
Steals 7 3
Blocks 0 1
Turnovers 7 9
Fouls 22 22
Technicals 0 0
20 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST
22 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST
1234T
away team logo Jazz 15-20 2014252483
home team logo Nuggets 19-15 28222631107
Team Stats
away team logo Jazz 15-20 106.8 PPG 43.1 RPG 24.3 APG
home team logo Nuggets 19-15 109.4 PPG 47.1 RPG 26.7 APG
Key Players
D. Favors PF 11.2 PPG 7.1 RPG 0.9 APG 60.6 FG%
J. Murray PG 17.5 PPG 4.4 RPG 4.7 APG 42.2 FG%
Top Scorers
D. Favors PF 20 PTS 6 REB 2 AST
J. Murray PG 22 PTS 8 REB 2 AST
32.1 FG% 48.1
28.6 3PT FG% 36.7
82.6 FT% 81.8
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Favors 28 20 6 2 0 0 0 3 6/14 0/0 8/11 5 1 30 -15
J. Jerebko 26 13 3 0 0 0 0 4 4/10 3/4 2/2 0 3 16 -15
D. Mitchell 32 13 3 6 1 0 2 5 5/10 1/4 2/2 0 3 27 -16
J. Ingles 29 8 7 1 2 0 1 0 3/7 2/6 0/0 1 6 18 -6
R. Rubio 32 2 6 7 2 0 2 3 1/8 0/2 0/0 1 5 22 -16
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Favors 28 20 6 2 0 0 0 3 6/14 0/0 8/11 5 1 30 -15
J. Jerebko 26 13 3 0 0 0 0 4 4/10 3/4 2/2 0 3 16 -15
D. Mitchell 32 13 3 6 1 0 2 5 5/10 1/4 2/2 0 3 27 -16
J. Ingles 29 8 7 1 2 0 1 0 3/7 2/6 0/0 1 6 18 -6
R. Rubio 32 2 6 7 2 0 2 3 1/8 0/2 0/0 1 5 22 -16
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Hood 28 10 6 1 0 0 2 1 4/17 2/7 0/0 2 4 16 -19
R. O'Neale 12 7 2 1 1 0 0 1 1/6 1/5 4/4 0 2 12 -5
E. Udoh 12 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 3/4 0 1 4 -11
N. Mitrou-Long 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 1/1 0/0 0 0 3 +5
A. Burks 12 2 3 1 0 0 0 1 1/5 0/2 0/0 1 2 7 -14
J. Johnson 24 2 5 0 1 0 0 3 1/6 0/4 0/0 2 3 8 -8
T. Sefolosha - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. McCree - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Gobert - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Neto - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Wolters - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Griffin - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Exum - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Bradley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 83 42 19 7 0 7 22 27/84 10/35 19/23 12 30 163 -120
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Murray 35 22 8 2 1 0 4 0 9/15 3/6 1/1 2 6 31 +13
W. Chandler 33 15 7 1 0 1 2 4 5/11 0/3 5/5 1 6 23 +16
G. Harris 36 15 2 5 0 0 1 3 6/12 3/6 0/0 0 2 26 +17
N. Jokic 25 13 7 5 1 0 1 5 4/10 1/3 4/4 2 5 30 +11
M. Plumlee 20 9 8 3 0 0 0 2 4/6 0/0 1/3 3 5 23 -1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Murray 35 22 8 2 1 0 4 0 9/15 3/6 1/1 2 6 31 +13
W. Chandler 33 15 7 1 0 1 2 4 5/11 0/3 5/5 1 6 23 +16
G. Harris 36 15 2 5 0 0 1 3 6/12 3/6 0/0 0 2 26 +17
N. Jokic 25 13 7 5 1 0 1 5 4/10 1/3 4/4 2 5 30 +11
M. Plumlee 20 9 8 3 0 0 0 2 4/6 0/0 1/3 3 5 23 -1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Lyles 27 16 8 0 1 0 0 1 7/11 1/4 1/3 0 8 25 +15
E. Mudiay 1 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 2/2 2/2 1/1 0 0 7 +7
W. Barton 36 5 6 5 0 0 1 2 2/11 1/4 0/0 1 5 20 +17
T. Craig 21 5 7 2 0 0 0 4 0/3 0/2 5/5 1 6 16 +11
M. Beasley 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 +7
R. Jefferson 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 +7
P. Millsap - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Faried - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Arthur - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lydon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hernangomez - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Morris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 107 53 23 3 1 9 22 39/81 11/30 18/22 10 43 201 +120