Mike Conley scored 27 points and Rudy Gobert added 24 points and 14 rebounds to power the Utah Jazz to a 124-87 rout of the Denver Nuggets near Orlando on Friday.
The victory gave the Jazz a 2-1 series lead over the Nuggets in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Game 4 is on Sunday.
Donovan Mitchell added 20 points while Georges Niang scored a playoff career-high 16 points off the bench. Utah earned its second straight lopsided victory over Denver after going 18-of-37 from 3-point range. Conley led the way, going a career-playoff-best 7-of-8 from long distance.
Nikola Jokic scored 15 points and Jamal Murray added 12 to lead the Nuggets. Both players added five rebounds and six assists. Denver shot just 37.5 percent from the floor, compared to 51.2 for the Jazz.
Gobert dominated on both ends of the court in the first half. He scored 20 points and collected 11 rebounds before halftime.
Gobert racked up 12 points and eight rebounds during the first quarter alone. On defense, he spearheaded an effort that forced Denver to commit six turnovers and shoot just 6-of-18 (33.3) from the field over the first 12 minutes.
It opened the door for Utah to build a double-digit lead before the first quarter ended. The Jazz went on a 23-6 run -- highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Conley -- and seized a 36-16 lead early in the second quarter. Two more back-to-back threes -- this time from Mitchell and Niang -- helped Utah build their largest lead of the first half at 56-31.
Denver closed the gap a little bit in the waning minutes of the second quarter. Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap capped an 11-0 run with back-to-back 3-pointers, cutting the Jazz lead to 56-42 in the final minute before halftime.
Utah heated up from the perimeter again after halftime and never looked back. Outside shooting fueled an 18-5 run that helped the Jazz extend their lead to 77-50 with 7:30 left in the third quarter. Mitchell, Conley, and O'Neale all buried outside baskets to fuel the spurt.
--Field Level Media
|Nikola Jokic 15||Scoring||Mike Conley 27|
|Nikola Jokic 6||Assists||Joe Ingles 8|
|PJ Dozier 6||Rebounds||Rudy Gobert 14|
|Bol Bol 4||Free Throws Made||Donovan Mitchell 8|
|Bol Bol 1||Steals||Jordan Clarkson 2|
|Jerami Grant 2||Blocks||Jarrell Brantley 1|