NBA: Denver at Utah 10:30E ESPN2

NBA: Denver at Utah 10:30E ESPN2

NBA: Denver at Utah 10:30E ESPN2


2010-04-30

At least for a day, no negative tweets, talk or posturing out of Denver as they held off the first match point of the series against Utah at home Wednesday, 116-102. The Nuggets will try to stave off elimination one more time on Friday night, but this time around, they will be in Utah and playing a 4.5-point dogs according to Sportsbook.com.

Focal point Carmelo Anthony must have made his case strong enough that he needed help as five other Nuggets scored in double figures and more importantly, the team collectively took a defensive stance, holding the Jazz to series low 45.2 percent.

“Everybody stepped up tonight and did their part,” Anthony said after the game. “With Nene going down early, ‘Frenchie’ came in and stepped up, ‘Bird’ played the way he is supposed to be playing. Everybody played their role tonight. That’s how we won.”

Denver’s more fluid offense is easily measured; they are 47-8 SU when they have 20 or more assists and 9-24 SU when fall below that figure. The Nuggets cannot afford anything less than the same work ethic and compulsion to team work if they expect to continue series and add to 7-3 ATS mark in the first round of postseason.

Utah is 8-2 ATS off a double digit defeat and did not match Denver’s intensity from last contest. “They were a lot more alive, they went after the ball a little harder than we did,” Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. “The players off the bench gave them a big lift. Their bench people killed us.”

Utah is a 4.5-point home favorite, with the total at a series high of 217.5 and might face Denver club without Nene, whose been diagnosed with a sprained knee. The Jazz are 17-4 ATS off a road loss and will continue to keep the offense flowing thru Deron Williams, who became the first player in NBA history to record five straight 20-point/10-assist double-doubles to begin a series.

“Stuff was too easy (for the Nuggets),” Williams said. “We have to get back to playing our basketball.”

The odds are not in Denver’s favor with recent 1-8-1 ATS away slide, but if they want to force a deciding Game 7 at the Pepsi Center on Sunday, they will have to find a way.

The StatFox Power Line for this game shows Utah by 3, a bit shy of the actual line at Sportsbook.com.


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