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Preview: Nuggets (36-46) at Jazz (25-57)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: April 03, 2013 9:00 PM EDT
  

For a coach who has lost the key component of his offense so close to the postseason, George Karl doesn't seem very worried.

With capable backups at the ready at point guard, the Nuggets try to adjust without Ty Lawson on Wednesday night when they play a surging Utah Jazz team fighting to make the playoffs.

Lawson missed three games earlier this month with a strained heel before struggling through 20 minutes in Denver's 100-99 loss to San Antonio on Thursday. A further exam revealed a plantar fascia tear, sidelining the team leader with 16.7 points and 6.9 assists per game indefinitely with eight games remaining.

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"Ty's job and our job is to figure out how to get him feeling 100 percent,' Karl said. ``I'm optimistic it will work its way out.

``You rest it and rest it. Once the soreness goes away and once it stretches out and the body figures out how to work it, he probably could be pain free. It could come in a couple of weeks.'

Catching Oklahoma City, which the Nuggets (50-24) trail by four games for the Southwest Division title, may be too tall an order without Lawson. Holding off the Los Angeles Clippers for third in the Western Conference may be a bigger priority.

Guards Andre Miller and Evan Fournier will try to direct Denver's offense in Lawson's absence, and Karl is confident there will be little falloff for a team averaging 105.6 points.

"Ty is speed, an ability to push the ball. Andre has cleverness and cuteness," said Karl of the 37-year-old Miller, who averages 9.5 points and 5.9 assists. "But Andre likes to play the way we play.'

Fournier, a 20-year-old rookie, is an unknown quantity. He had a season-high 19 points in a 109-87 win over Brooklyn on Friday but is averaging 3.7 points in 30 games.

``I think part of my job a little bit is try to put a team that kind of accentuates Evan's talents to play well,' Karl said. "The one thing I love about (Fournier) is he's a confident guy."

Miller and Fournier will be put to the test against a Jazz team that has found its offensive groove, averaging 108.6 points and 52.0 percent shooting during a season-high five-game winning streak. Utah has also displayed a strong outside game during the run, making 41.4 percent (36 of 87) of its 3-point shots.

The Jazz (39-36) are in a battle with the Lakers and Dallas for the final playoff spot in the West and coming off a 112-102 win over Portland on Monday. Al Jefferson scored 24 points and Mo Williams went 6 of 7 from beyond the arc, adding 20 points as six Utah players finished in double figures.

``You can tell that Mo is getting back in his groove, playing the way he wants to play,' Jefferson said of Williams, averaging 17.0 points, 6.6 assists and 51.7 percent shooting. "He's scoring, getting people involved and playing good defense and everybody is jumping on his bandwagon. It starts with him.'

Williams missed the last two games against the Nuggets due to foot and thumb injuries and was a non-factor in a 104-84 loss at Denver on Nov. 9. The Nuggets have won both home games in the season series sandwiched around a 105-103 road loss Nov. 26.

Jefferson may be happy to be playing the Nuggets at home as opposed to in Denver. He scored 28 points and made 10 of 15 in the November win but totaled 16 while going 5 for 22 in the two defeats at the Pepsi Center.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 DEN  +130   +3   205 
 UTH  -150   -3   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 DEN  +125   +3   205 
 UTH  -145   -3   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 DEN  71%   46%   71% 
 UTH  29%   54%   29% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 Jan 5, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 UTH 91 Under: 201 
 DEN 110 Cover: 9 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Nov 26, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 DEN 103 Cover: 1 
 UTH 105 Over: 208 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Nov 9, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 UTH 84 Under: 188 
 DEN 104 Cover: 14.5 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA PREVIEWS
 Wednesday, Apr 3
 
    Knicks at Hawks
7:05 PM EDT
    Nets at Cavaliers
7:05 PM EDT
    Wizards at Raptors
7:05 PM EDT
    76ers at Bobcats
7:05 PM EDT
    Pistons at Celtics
7:35 PM EDT
    Timberwolves at Bucks
8:05 PM EDT
    Magic at Spurs
8:35 PM EDT
    Nuggets at Jazz
9:05 PM EDT
    Grizzlies at Trail Blazers
10:05 PM EDT
    Rockets at Kings
10:05 PM EDT
    Pelicans at Warriors
10:35 PM EDT
    Suns at Clippers
10:35 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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