Denver • Gordon Hayward didn’t take a great fall Saturday night, but the Utah Jazz certainly did.
Danilo Gallinari scored 26 points and Andre Iguodala added 18 as the Denver Nuggets broke open a close game in the final 12 minutes and rolled to a 110-91 victory over Utah.
The Jazz shot only 35.9 percent and were outplayed by Denver, particularly in the second half.
“They had a lot more energy and pace than we did,” coach Tyrone Corbin said.
Still, the Jazz wondered what might have happened if a curious play involving Hayward at the end of the third quarter had been called differently.
Trailing 80-72, Utah regained possession on a Denver turnover.
Derrick Favors fed Hayward, who attacked the basket and dunked despite heavy pressure from the Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried.
Just as the Jazz thought they had pulled within six points, however, official Bennie Adams called Hayward for hanging on the rim.
The offensive interference ruling nullified the basket and gave the ball back to Denver, which used a 3-pointer by Andre Miller with one second left in the quarter to build an 83-72 lead.
The way the Nuggets dominated the fourth quarter, it’s likely they would have won the game, even without the benefit of the Hayward call.
The Jazz, however, wish they would have gotten a chance to play from six points down instead of 11.
“I knew someone was going to come and try to block it,” Hayward said. “I thought there was going to be some contact, and I thought there was. That’s why I hung onto the rim. I didn’t want to get undercut or anything.”Next Page »