The Denver Nuggets will travel to Salt Lake City on the heels of their most lopsided victory outside of their first meeting with the Utah Jazz.
The Nuggets look for a season-high fifth straight victory Monday night while the Jazz will be out to try to improve to 6-0 at home.
Denver (8-6) cruised past New Orleans 102-84 on Sunday night. The Nuggets took a 10-point lead into halftime, then extended it to 22 entering the fourth.
The blowout allowed the Nuggets to gain plenty of rest with this contest in mind, with no one logging more minutes than Andre Iguodala's 31.
"During the first half Sunday, we were pretty good except for about a four-minute stretch where we had a nine-, 10-point lead and gave it right back," coach George Karl said. "After that, we built it back up (in the third quarter) where I felt the flow of the game was more like we like it and where we got a lot of guys involved."
These teams are meeting for the second time this season, with Denver posting a 104-84 home rout Nov. 9. Corey Brewer had a season-high 20 points while Iguodala and former Utah first-round pick Kosta Koufos each scored 15 as the Nuggets coasted after taking a 15-point halftime edge.
This matchup figures to be much tougher since Utah (7-7) is seeking to open with six wins at home for the first time in four years. The Jazz had their three-game win streak snapped Saturday in a 108-97 loss at Sacramento.
One night after Gordon Hayward delivered a game-winning jumper in a 104-102 victory over the Kings, the Jazz shot 40.5 percent in a rematch with no player scoring more than Randy Foye's 17 points.
Utah was outscored 32-19 in the third quarter Saturday after holding a five-point edge at the break.
"In the third quarter they came out a little more aggressive,' coach Ty Corbin said. "We missed some shots and they got a little run going and we never recovered. It was still only a four-point game in the fourth quarter. They just kind of took it over and they got another run on us there. They made a lot of shots.'
The Jazz may be wary of the third quarter again since the Nuggets have been dominant in that period in each of their last three games.
Denver used a 25-15 scoring edge in the third to go on to a 101-94 win at Minnesota on Wednesday, then outscored Golden State 31-17 in the first 12 minutes after halftime in Friday's 102-91 victory before amassing a 32-20 edge over the Hornets.
"That's a point we wanted to ... make sure they didn't have a chance to make a late-game run," guard Ty Lawson said of his team's third quarter strategy.
Lawson's matchup at point guard will be easier if starting Jazz playmaker Mo Williams misses a second straight game with a sprained ankle. Jamaal Tinsley had a season-high 14 points in Williams' place Saturday in his second start.
The Associated Press News Service
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