“Whatever is needed to win the game” – Bogdanovic Dominant in Denver

None Rudy Gobert. No Hassan Whiteside. Not Joe Ingles.

An extraordinary shooting night from your stellar back course.

While playing against the reigning MVP, which has a better season than last year – Utah was supposed to have serious problems on Wednesday night.

Instead of watching the whole nation, Bojan Bogdanovic reminded everyone that there was much more to this team than just a secondary scorer. Bogdanovic fell to a seasonal maximum of 36 points and helped Jazz overcome Nikola Jokice’s triple-double and defeat Denver 115: 109.

“It’s hard to determine the order, at the moment it seems like the biggest victory,” said head coach Quin Snyder. “It’s the most unique game we’ve won this year, especially the way we played and we’ve been able to win the game. It was a big win under other, too difficult circumstances.”

With three Utah stars Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley and reigning sixth man Jordan Clarkson attracting so much attention, Bogdanovich’s game and his steady shooting arm can often get lost in mixing.

This was not the case with the Nuggets.

He scored 36 points when shooting 12 of 20 from the floor, including 11 to 13 of the free throw line. Bogdanovic was not satisfied with the controversial three and showed impressive skill not only to get on the sidelines, but also to finish, especially when he was defended by the more athletic Aaron Gordon.

But where he established himself was on the defensive pitch by helping to catch up with the loss of Gobert and his NBA lead 15.1 rebounds per game. Bogdanovic won 13 rebounds, all of which were in his career, and all came on the defensive – he added four assists.

“I’m just trying to be aggressive,” Bogdanovich said. “Mike and Donovan are looking for me because they feel I’m in good shape. I’m just feeling great and doing everything I need to be aggressive and win the match.”

Royce O’Neale, not a very shooter, but someone who does so many little things, was tonight with so many players. He finished with a double-double 13 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

But he was most impressive at the end of the game.

With Denver remaining in fifth place with Jokic, Snyder decided to go small with Rudy Gay serving as the defunct center. But when he used rotation to shoot and create the game, the Nuggets decided to put Jokic on O’Neale, which eventually forced O’Neal to make the right games – and he did.

“I thought Royce did a great job at five,” Snyder said.

Gay was also phenomenal, for most of his seasonal high of 29 minutes he got into a much more active role as a small ball center. He finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and the highest rating of the game +14.

Tonight he was much more aggressive, often showing the right game either by shooting, getting on the edge or kicking an open shooter. His aggression allowed Jazz to thrive offensively, even though Jokic was still in the game,

“Sometimes we played with Rudy at number five this year,” Snyder said. “It’s a different view. I thought the things we all know, his ability to pick and jump, and how it puts pressure on defense were great. Honestly, after they hit a few shots, they changed the match.”

The game was exciting because neither of them was able to separate much in the opening half. Because Jazz tried to trap Jokice and push the ball out of his hands almost every time he touched him, Denver couldn’t beat the open threes.

Meanwhile, in the attack, Utah was still trying to figure out how he could play small with a team that had problems lately. Jazz seemed to be playing too much, which Snyder talked about this season, instead of playing in a natural offensive.

Utah led at 57:56.

The third quarter is where Utah managed to gain some separation, starting the third quarter with a strong 11-2 lead and leading by 10.

After the Nuggets reduced the deficit to seven at the end of the third period after Jokic’s three-point game, Bogdanovic took the lead by scoring the last nine points of Utah and securing the Jazz 10-point lead to fourth.

Denver made the final run, which turned him into a four-point match with less than a minute to complete, but Bogdanovic calmly knocked down two free throws, with nine seconds left to seal the victory.

Mitchell scored 17 points, while Conley added 10 points and six assists.

Udoka Azubuike, who played for the first time since his ankle injury a few weeks ago, did a phenomenal job in starting and defending Jokic.

“To come to his first start in the NBA and play against probably the best player of the match right now.… The minutes he gave us were incredibly important,” Snyder said of Azubuike.

The Jokic finished with 26 points, 21 rebounds and 11 assists, while Will Barton and Monte Morris added 20 points each.

Jazz will continue its five-match road trip with three matches in four days, starting with Toronto on Friday night. Tipoff is set to 17:30 MST.


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