The Utah Jazz’s road game nightmare continued last night, as they lost to the Denver Nuggets, 110-109.

Usually the Jazz give up the game in the fourth quarter, but last night they seemed to be more than happy to seal the game in the third. At the half, they were barely trailing, as the Nuggets was up 61-59. They came out of half time, allowing Denver to outscore them 37-29.

While Carmelo Anthony (23 points) and Allen Iverson (28 points) had their usual high scoring game, it was Linas Kleiza who scored a career high 41 points thanks to an awful Jazz defense. He was 11-14 from the free throw line and 4-8 from the three point line.

Kleiza also earns a spot on the poor sportsmanship list. During a play halfway through the third, he was fouled by Kyle Korver (16 points), who made collided with him after making a clean play for the ball. Instead of getting himself up and walking away, he got up, kneed Korver in the back intentionally and stood over him, talking trash. That’s unacceptable behavior, even for Philadelphia Flyers standards.

What’s even worse is that no one on the floor from the Jazz got up to defend Korver. Not Carlos Boozer. Not Deron Williams. No one.

That says a lot of this team. They don’t stand up for themselves, and lack some leadership as well as toughness.

While the Jazz were on offense, Marcus Camby shut down the lane and kept them out of the paint. Camby was collecting stats like this was a video game, pulling down 24 rebounds an 11 blocks.

This caused the Jazz to settle for jumpers the whole thing, which doesn’t help guys like Boozer (18 points), Ronnie Brewer or Andrei Kirilenko, who operate primarily in the paint.

In my preview, I also mentioned that the team that shoots better from the freethrow line and doesn’t turn over the ball will win. Denver lead in both categories; 12 turnovers to the Jazz’s 18, and 33-40 from the charity stripe to the Jazz’s 15-25.


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