The Denver Nuggets traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to take on the Jazz in Vivint Smart Home arena for their first game of the 2017-18 season looking to start the year with a road victory. With heightened expectations around the team, it felt paramount for the Nuggets to start the new season positively and instead they fell flat in the second half as the Jazz defense dismantled the Nuggets offense.
The first half was the Will Barton extravaganza. Almost every shot that Barton launched ended up dropping. He was flying around defensively, making plays for teammates, and able to contribute 21 points in the first half alone on a nearly perfect 7-8 from the field. Eventually, the Nuggets went into halftime up 58-49.
The second half is where things began to go wrong as the Nuggets allowed the Jazz to close within one point thanks to an 8-0 run from the end of the third quarter into the start of the fourth quarter. The one lone bright spot was Paul Millsap who was able to add eight points in the third quarter to keep the Nuggets afloat but as that 8-0 run morphed into a 25-4 run Denver suddenly found themselves down big in the fourth quarter after leading for the majority of the game.
The Nuggets went ice-cold shooting for the rest of the game and it eventually spelled their doom as the Jazz defense methodically broke down Denver’s offense so badly that the Nuggets were not even able to break double digits scoring in the entire fourth quarter. Denver loses the first game of the season 106-96.
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