Canada’s Jamal Murray scores 12 factors in long-awaited return, Nuggets lose to Jazz | Bros Tech

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Nobody expects a lot from the Utah Jazz. That is how they need it.

“All of us have chips on our shoulders. Everybody right here needs to point out folks that we’re a troublesome staff,” mentioned Colin Sexton.

Sexton scored 20 factors, Lauri Markkanen added 17 and the revamped Jazz beat the Denver Nuggets 123-102 on Wednesday within the season opener for each groups.

New Jazz coach Will Hardy, a former Boston Celtics assistant, received his first recreation.

“There’s an actual camaraderie with this group even at this early stage as a result of I believe all of our guys perceive that none of them can do it alone,” Hardy mentioned.

His gamers celebrated the victory with a bottled water bathtub and handed the ball to the coach as he obtained emotional.

“We had been so joyful for him. He deserves it. He is given lots of guys lots of confidence to go on the market and play the best manner,” Mike Conley mentioned.

It was a shocking outcome for a Denver staff constructed for a title run and the Jazz, who’re rebuilding after buying and selling props Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

“In that first half (the Jazz) outplayed us and I believe everybody in (our) locker room would agree,” Denver coach Mike Malone mentioned. “We seemed like a unique staff, we felt like a unique staff (within the second half). However on this league you may’t select when to play.”

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Rudy Homosexual scored 16 factors, Malik Beasley had 15 and Conley, the one starter to return from final season, had 13 as Utah had seven gamers in double-digit scoring. Rookie Walker Kessler had 12 factors and 10 rebounds, and the Jazz shot 50.6% from the sphere.

Nikola Jokic scored 27 factors and Aaron Gordon had 22 for Denver, however they weren’t proud of their first recreation.

“Even after we present open stares, we do not shoot these. I believe the mentality was that we did not know what to do,” Jokic mentioned.

The Jazz, unsurprisingly with a younger staff with 10 new additions, got here near falling aside after comfortably main a lot of the recreation. A collection of turnovers and misplaced rotations allowed the Nuggets to recuperate from a 24-point deficit.

Jokic, the reigning two-time MVP, introduced the Nuggets again to 105-98 with a run hook.

However Homosexual and Beasley hit back-to-back 3-pointers because the Nuggets shook their heads and Beasley did an prolonged shimmy.

“It is going to assist us down the street in constructing the boldness that if I am open, I do know my teammates are going to offer me the ball,” mentioned Sexton, who missed most of final yr with a torn meniscus.

“The Bull is again,” he mentioned, referring to his nickname, “Younger Bull.”

Key gamers Jamal Murray of Kitchener, Ontario, and Michael Porter Jr. additionally returned from accidents, however the Nuggets seemed rusty, particularly on protection, as they allowed a 14-0 run early within the second quarter and a 27-game successful streak. -7 total. the Jazz in command.

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When Sexton hit a 3-pointer late within the second quarter, the Jazz led 68-44. Regardless of Gordon’s 16 factors and Jokic’s 14, the Nuggets trailed 75-53 and the Jazz walked into the halftime break to a standing ovation from a shocked however energized crowd.


Murray, who missed all of final season because of knee surgical procedure, scored 12 factors on 5-for-13 taking pictures.

“I used to be shaking off the rust clearly. I obtained some nice seems, I ran to them hoping to get a bit little bit of rhythm,” mentioned Murray.

He performed 25 minutes, probably the most he has performed in a full or preseason recreation because the harm.

“Jamal performed precisely (how) I anticipated. … The boy hasn’t performed in a very long time. That is his first NBA recreation since April 12 two years in the past. ? I am going to stick with him. I do know what he’s able to,” Malone mentioned.


Nuggets: Jokic was visibly annoyed, drawing an offensive foul after which being burned by Sexton on back-to-back possessions for baskets late within the recreation. ? The Nuggets outscored the Jazz within the paint, 68-42. ? Denver dedicated seven turnovers within the fourth quarter.

Jazz: Clarkson welcomed Jazz followers earlier than the sport, reminding them that WBNA star Brittney Griner stays in a Russian jail and wishes the “blessings” of the followers… At one level, Vanderbilt was beating all Nuggets, 12-9. However he dedicated 4 and 5 fouls early within the third quarter earlier than he may very well be substituted. … Canada’s Kelly Olynyk acquired a technical within the fourth quarter.


Nuggets: At Golden State on Friday evening.

Jazz: In Minnesota on Friday evening.

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Canada’s Jamal Murray scores 12 points in long-awaited return, Nuggets lose to Jazz


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