The Jazz turn back the clock to the 1990's in a win over the Denver Nuggets

The Utah Jazz played strong defense and efficient offense in a dominant showing against the defending NBA champions.
Jan 10, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) reacts after making a
Jan 10, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) reacts after making a / Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday night, the Jazz traveled back to the 1990s in more ways than one. Sure it was the retro remembrance night of that decade, the best era of Jazz basketball (541 wins, tied for the most in that decade with the Chicago Bulls).

It must have inspired the current Jazz team who started the game with strong offense and even better defense. In the first quarter, the Jazz had a 15-3 run to take a commanding lead.

On Denver. With no starters or key rotation players out. A Denver Nuggets team that had won 9 of their last 11 and hadn't played since a Sunday win at home against the Detroit Pistons.

It was old-fashioned 1990's defense that fueled the Utah Jazz's offense. Blocked shots, swarming rotations, and a great start that mirrored their effort from 2 nights ago in Milwaukee, leading 35-24 at the end of the first quarter.

In the 2nd, the Jazz kept things rolling and held a 14 point lead at the halfway point, 48-34 as Denver continued searching for answers as the Jazz were shooting 62% from the field and 53% from 3 to that point.

Nicola Jokic returned to the game after a long rest, and the Nuggets immediately responded with a 7-0 run that cut the lead in half, spurring a Will Hardy timeout.

Then Jordan Clarkson, Lauri Markkanen, and Collin Sexton stepped up big-time, scoring 25 points in 5 minutes in a myriad of ways to push the Jazz to a 71-53 halftime lead over the defending champs.

In the 3rd, the Nuggets made their run, cutting the lead to 14 before the Jazz pushed it back to 24 with just under a minute left in the quarter as the Nuggets went on a 5-minute scoring drought that ended with a Nikola Jokic 3-pointer. The Jazz led 99-78 going into the 4th quarter.

The teams traded baskets for just over 5 minutes of the 4th, with the Jazz having an 11-8 edge. And then Collin Sexton showed up and scored the next 6 points to push the lead to 116-91 with 5:46 remaining to force Denver's Mike Malone to use his last timeout of the game.

Denver refused to roll over, however. They subbed in much of their bench, and quickly threw up three straight deep makes to cut the lead to 16, reminding the Jazz that they needed to finish out the game, which they did. With 3 minutes left the benches emptied, and the Jazz closed it out winning 124-111.

Final thoughts - Jordan Clarkson played possibly his most efficient game with 27 points, 9 assists, on 12-19 shooting, and looked for his teammates all night long. He came just short of tying Thurl Bailey's Jazz record for 30-point games as a reserve (Bailey has 12, Clarkson has 11).

The Jazz move on to games on Friday vs. Toronto and Saturday against the LA Lakers, both at home. The Jazz are 19-20 overall, having won 3 straight and 8 of 10 for their best run all season.

dark. Next. The Jazz are making a habit of blowout victories lately. The Jazz are making a habit of blowout victories lately