Jefferson guides Utah past DenverFeb 5, 2011 - 7:57 AM Utah Jazz held off the Denver Nuggets, 113-106, from the Pepsi Center.
Jefferson ended with 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Jazz, who had lost their previous five trips to Denver.
Deron Williams returned to the lineup after missing four games with a hyperextended right wrist and posted 26 points and 12 assists. Raja Bell donated 20 points and seven boards.
"It seemed like an eternity that I was out. I was only out for seven days but it felt like a long time," Williams said. "I just wanted to get back out there with my teammates and play basketball."
Despite getting Williams back, Utah was still without center Mehmet Okur (back) and forward Andrei Kirilenko (ankle).
Carmelo Anthony had 31 points and six rebounds to pace the Nuggets, who have dropped three of four.
Nene tallied 28 points and five boards for Denver, which got 13 points and 10 boards from Arron Afflalo. Chauncey Billups added 13 points and five assists.
"He sets the table for everybody," Billups said of Williams. "They're a different team without him."
Jefferson made two free throws and a jumper to give the Jazz a 90-81 lead with 9:19 to play.
With the score standing at 94-89 with 6:45 left, Bell drove to the hoop and was smacked heard across the head by J.R. Smith. That hard foul led to a small skirmish. A flagrant foul 2 was given to Smith, while Williams got a technical foul.
After Anthony made the technical free throw, Bell hit both foul shots and Jefferson made a jumper to make it a 98-90 game with 6:30 remaining.
The lead grew to 102-92 on a pair of Bell free throws and Jefferson's jumper. But Denver went on an 8-2 flurry moments later to get within 107-104 on a pair of Anthony free throws with two minutes left.
Following missed three-pointers from each team, Jefferson drove the lane and was fouled while making a runner. He made his free throw to give the Jazz a 110-104 lead with 51.2 ticks to go.
Jefferson blocked Anthony's layup attempt at the other end, and Bell made a jumper to seal the victory.
The Nuggets held a 24-23 edge after 12 minutes of action, but the Jazz took a 50-47 lead into the break.
A tight third quarter resulted in Utah taking an 82-77 advantage into the fourth.
The Nuggets have won six of nine over Utah...Denver fell to 21-6 at home this season...The Jazz went 17-of-18 from the foul line, while the Nuggets went 32- of-36 from the charity stripe...Utah went 8-of-26 from three-point range...C.J. Miles had 13 points off the bench for the Jazz.
- UTAH: 113
Feb 5 1:16 AM
- UTAH: 82
End of 3rd
Feb 5 12:32 AM
- UTAH: 50
Feb 4 11:44 PM
- UTAH: 23
End of 1st
Feb 4 11:12 PM
- UTAH: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 4 10:44 PM
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