Feb 4, 12:08 AM EST

Derrick Favors had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots to power the Utah Jazz over the Denver Nuggets 85-81, extending their season-best winning streak to four games


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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Derrick Favors had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots to power the Utah Jazz over the Denver Nuggets 85-81 Wednesday night, extending their season-best winning streak to four games.

Favors missed 16 games with back problems and the Jazz have been a different defensive team since his return five games ago. Utah, which also got 16 points from Gordon Hayward, has won five straight against the Nuggets.

Favors, whose jump shot was off target much of the night, made a baseline jumper with 1:28 to play and then corralled a crucial offensive rebound and was fouled with 56 seconds remaining. He made one of two free throws to give the Jazz an 82-77 lead, their largest of the game.

Danilo Gallinari, who scored 24 points, hit two free throws and Kenneth Faried made a follow shot sandwiched around a free throw by Rudy Gobert, but the Nuggets couldn't gain possession of a loose ball with 7 seconds left for a possible game-winner. The ball was first given to Denver, but the call was reversed on replay.

Hayward, who had 14 points in the second half, made two free throws to clinch it.

The Nuggets, who went 4 for 17 from the field in the final period, have lost six of nine. Faried scored 14 points, Gary Harris had 11 and Will Barton 10 for Denver.

The Jazz, who have hovered around the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference for much of the year, are making the most of their longest homestand of the season. The finale of the six-game set is Friday against Milwaukee.

In an often ragged game, neither team could gain a double-digit advantage. Amid a preponderance of pushing and grabbing, the Nuggets succeeded in getting to the free throw line 33 times to Utah's 20 - including 14 in the fourth quarter.

The Jazz went 5 of 22 from beyond the 3-point line, most on wide-open looks, but played tough enough on the defensive end to garner another victory.

Before the game, Denver coach Mike Malone stressed the importance of playing at a quick pace against the Jazz and urged his team to hit the century mark. The Nuggets didn't come close to reaching that goal but made Utah's offensive sets look haphazard and deflected a bevy of Jazz passes.

Nikola Jokic, who had 27 points and 14 rebounds for the Nuggets in a 122-93 win Monday over Toronto, struggled with the Jazz big men and the effects of a left shoulder strain. Jokic had eight points and six rebounds.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: G Jameer Nelson was inactive and has missed eight of the last 10 games with a sprained left wrist. . With 33.6 seconds left until halftime, Gallinari was called for a flagrant 1 foul for an elbow that connected with Gobert's face. . Whenever possible, the Jazz played Trevor Booker on offense and substituted Gobert in for defense during the final minutes.

Jazz: Alec Burks, out with a broken leg since Dec. 26, is eyeing a return within two to three weeks. . Favors blocked two shots and Booker swatted another on one Denver possession late in the third quarter. . Utah held Denver to one field goal in the final 4:25.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Host Chicago on Friday.

Jazz: Host Milwaukee on Friday.

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