Short-handed Jazz topple Nuggets, Doncic passes 5,000 point plateau | Inquirer Sports
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Short-handed Jazz topple Nuggets, Doncic passes 5,000 point plateau

/ 02:00 PM May 08, 2021
Michael Porter Jr. #1 of the Denver Nuggets shoots against Miye Oni #81 of the Utah Jazz during a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on May 7, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   Alex Goodlett/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Alex Goodlett / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets shoots against Miye Oni of the Utah Jazz during a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on May 7, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Getty Images via AFP)

LOS ANGELES – Bojan Bogdanovic torched Denver for a career-high 48 points as the Utah Jazz remained in the fight for top spot in the Western Conference with a 127-120 victory over the Nuggets on Friday night.

The under-manned Jazz were without their dynamic guard duo of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley, but throughout their injury absences other Utah players have been stepping up and Friday it was Bogdanovic’s turn.

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Mitchell has missed the last 11 games with a right ankle sprain and Conley has missed six straight games with a hamstring injury.

Jordan Clarkson had 21 points and eight assists for the Jazz, who improved to 48-18 and are one game ahead of Phoenix for the top seed in the Western Conference. Clarkson was coming off a 30-point game against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

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Rudy Gobert had 14 points and nine rebounds, Georges Niang had 13 points and Joe Ingles had 10 points and nine assists for the Jazz in Salt Lake City.

Like Utah, the Nuggets are limping into the postseason. But they are still getting it done even though all-star Jamal Murray is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Michael Porter paced Denver with 31 points, Nikola Jokic finished with 24 points, 13 assists, and Paul Millsap chipped in 19 points for the Nuggets, who have won 10 of 13 games since Murray got injured.

Bogdanovic nailed a three pointer with 4:39 left in the fourth to give the Jazz a 114-106 lead.

Denver went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to just three. Clarkson then hit a three-pointer and Gobert made a basket to make it 119-112.

Denver clawed their way back to get within three points with a minute remaining but Clarkson sealed the victory with the last of his six threes.

Denver shot 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.

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Luka shines

Elsewhere, Luka Doncic scored 24 points and surpassed the 5,000 career point mark as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-90.

Doncic became just the fourth youngest NBA player (22 years, 67 days) to reach 5,000 points when he scored his seventh point of Friday’s game. Only Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Kevin Durant did it at a younger age. Doncic played just 23 minutes and also had eight rebounds.

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket against Isaac Okoro #35 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Collin Sexton #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second quarter at American Airlines Center on May 07, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by TOM PENNINGTON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket against Isaac Okoro #35 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Collin Sexton #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second quarter at American Airlines Center on May 07, 2021 in Dallas, Texas.  (Getty Images via AFP)

With the win, the Mavericks clinched the Southwest Division title, giving them the fifth seed if there is a three-way tie with the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland.

“I think it’s something that’s always worthwhile,” said coach Rick Carlisle. “It shows that you’re one of the better teams. It’s big and we’ll take it. It’s important to get this win, try to get through this game unscathed and get ready for Sunday.”

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TAGS: Denver Nuggets, Luka Doncic, Utah Jazz
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