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Faried spurs Nuggets past Jazz

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Kenneth Faried got off his sick bed to play Saturday night.

It certainly made an impact on his teammates, who got off the mat to deliver one of their best games of the season.

Danilo Gallinari scored a game-high 26 points, Faried had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and the Nuggets washed away the sting of a disappointing loss to beat the Utah Jazz 110-91.

Andre Iguodala scored 18 points and Kosta Koufas had 13 rebounds for Denver, which bounced back from Thursday's gut punch by Minnesota.

"It hurt because we knew we could play a lot better and we feel we had a game stolen from us," Iguodala said. "Focus was really good at shootaround and I think it carried over to the game."

Paul Millsap had 15 points and Gordon Hayward had 14 off the bench for Utah, which had its two-game winning streak stopped.

The Nuggets were reeling after the Timberwolves' 101-97 win here, and Faried was feeling even worse when the stomach flu hit him Friday. He went to the hospital after practice to receive intravenous fluids and some medicine to help with the nausea.

He wasn't well enough to go through the shootaround Saturday morning but brought his "A" game Saturday night, registering his 15th double-double of the season.

"I was able to come out and play, but I still felt kind of queasy," he said. "They said it was up to me at game time, but I'm not going to miss no games."

He would have missed a good one. Denver started the second half on an 11-2 run to stretch a four-point lead to 60-47 early in the third quarter. Ty Lawson, who was back in the starting lineup, hit a 3-pointer and another bucket to spark the run.

Utah came right back, scoring the next eight points to cut it to 60-55, but the Nuggets kept stretching the advantage. Gallinari scored seven points and Faried had a layup and a dunk to make it 76-62 late in the third quarter.

"We did a pretty good against their defense, but they started to get second shot opportunities and just deflated us," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "Then they started hitting perimeter shots."

The Jazz came back to cut it to eight late in the quarter and appeared to trim the lead to six with 18 seconds left, but Hayward was called for offensive goaltending on his fast-break dunk. Andre Miller drained a 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left to make it 83-72 heading into the fourth quarter and the lead never dipped below double digits the rest of the way.

"I think there was a little contact and that's why I hung onto the rim," Hayward said. "I didn't want to get undercut or anything, but for whatever reason he thought that me hanging onto the rim caused the ball to go in. I guess you've just got to live with that."

Denver opened the fourth quarter with a 15-3 run to put it away. Midway through the quarter, coach George Karl emptied his bench with his team leading by 23.

The Nuggets trailed for most of the second quarter, but Gallinari's 12 points in the period kept it close. His driving dunk and free throw gave Denver a 44-42 lead with 2:33 left in the first half. Iguodala fed Faried for a dunk and then Iguodala hit three free throws in the final minute to help the Nuggets take a 49-45 lead at the break.

"At the end of the second quarter, the game was breaking our way a little bit. We were wearing them down a little bit and in general the game, we did what we were supposed to do and we did it well," Karl said. "The last three days have made me very confident in this team that they do understand. When you blow a game, sometimes you don't think they do."

NOTES: Jazz center Enes Kanter missed his second straight game with a sprained right ankle. Kanter suffered the injury in Wednesday's win over Minnesota and did not play against Phoenix on Friday. ... Nuggets guard Julyan Stone played for the first time this season. He missed the first 34 games while recovering from offseason hip surgery. ... Faried and Koufas combined for nearly half of Denver's 48 rebounds. ... Corbin said second-year player Alec Burks, who has been playing point guard coming off the bench, is adjusting more quickly on offense than defense. "(It's) how to pressure, how to back off at times, how to create space or how to take them out of something that they are trying to get to," Corbin said. "There's a lot of responsibility on the defensive point guard. When you take a young guy like Alec or even a Randy (Foye) or Gordon, point guards naturally, then it's a difficult adjustment at times." ... The Nuggets (22) and Jazz (21) have played the most road games in the NBA so far this season.
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