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Utah Jazz 97 Denver Nuggets 88 -- Gordon Hayward, Trevor Booker help snap four game losing streak

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A home win? What mean this your 'home' win?

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Historically when the Utah Jazz start the game off at home and drop 30 points on the other team there's no looking back. The altitude, the Jazz making shots, and the fans usually mean it's game over by halftime. That was not the case tonight against the Denver Nuggets. Denver didn't roll over, after all, they were just as hungry for their 4th straight win as the Jazz were to prevent their 5th straight loss. Jameer Nelson, Will Barton, and an incomprehensibly high number of offensive rebounds made sure it was a game. And it was just a four point game at halftime. The Jazz were ahead for most of the third, but Joffrey Lauvergne really took advantage of a Trevor Booker / Trey Lyles line-up. Man, do the Jazz ever miss Rudy Gobert! Denver took the lead, but not control against the Jazz nominal 'bench'. Both teams ended the third 24-24, and the Jazz road into the fourth nursing that small lead.

Early in the fourth both teams looked like they wanted to lose. It wasn't good basketball at all. We saw back-to-back turnovers from Alec Burks and Randy Foye. We saw bricked threes and people driving directly into triple teams and then wondering why they lose the ball. More than anything else we saw Trevor Booker not having his best game. HOWEVER, he turned it on late in the fourth with Denver still in striking distance. He made a layup (!!!) and then quickly hit a rainbow three -- his 5 late fourth quarter points really ensured this game was Utah's. Gordon Hayward put the kids to bed with strong play inside, taking contact -- and three defenders -- to the rim and finishing.

The 97-88 game was closer than the final score. Both teams went to the line 25 times. Both teams had 14 turn overs. But only one team had Hayward, as his 26 points (4 threes, 6/7 from the FT line) really carried this team. It wasn't a perfect game from the Jazz, but I'll take it. Monkey is off their back now. Now they can just return to playing their game.

Utah plays next on Monday, hosting the Phoenix Suns.