SALT LAKE CITY | Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz beat the Denver Nuggets 106-96 on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams. The new-look Jazz — without Gordon Hayward and George Hill — trailed most of the night before Alec Burks took over with a spectacular fourth quarter. The athletic seventh-year wing has missed most of the last three seasons due to a litany of injuries, but showed no lingering effects.
DENVER | The Denver Nuggets are tinkering with their lineup on the eve of the season opener by bringing in veteran forward Richard Jefferson. A person with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed the one-year agreement to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because Jefferson’s deal hasn’t been disclosed by the team. ESPN first reported the deal, which it said is worth $2.3 million.
DENVER | Nikola Jokic added more muscle in the offseason so he wouldn’t be jostled while setting screens or snatching rebounds. Those days are over, the Denver Nuggets big man insisted. He even cut back on cheesecake and pizza — two of his culinary vices — to make it happen.
DENVER | The Denver Nuggets will retire the number of point guard Lafayette “Fat” Lever in a December ceremony as the team commemorates 50 years of basketball in the city.
“His biggest area of growth is not being afraid to be a leader,” coach Michael Malone recently said at media day. “He has a tremendous amount of respect within our locker room among his peers. He has to be more vocal and demanding of himself and his teammates.”
OAKLAND, Calif. | Kevin Durant drove through the paint for a quick one-handed slam. Stephen Curry dazzled with his dribbling and pulled up for quick 3-pointers that weren’t quite as accurate as usual. The Golden State Warriors still looked like the dominant team they were in winning a championship just a few months ago, even in a 108-102 preseason loss to Denver on Saturday night.
DENVER | Nikola Jokic bought a horse named “Dream Catcher” last winter that’s now winning races back home in Serbia. “He’s really good,” the Denver Nuggets center said proudly. No horsing around, Jokic’s team might very well be as well. Just ask Paul Millsap , who matter-of-factly said the Nuggets could be a top-five team even in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
DENVER | Mason Plumlee lived out of a hotel last season after being acquired in a February trade and didn’t get a chance to venture out much in Denver.
DENVER | The Denver Nuggets have hired veteran NBA coach Bob Weiss as an assistant on Michael Malone’s staff and announced the hiring of Calvin Booth as an assistant general manager.