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Highlights: Nuggets vs Jazz

The Denver Nuggets will look to avoid an early elimination from the 2020 NBA postseason when they take on the Utah Jazz in Game 5 on Tuesday night. The Nuggets pulled out a tough win in overtime in Game 1 of the series, but since then it has been all Jazz. Utah won Games 2 and 3 by double figures, and then it pulled out a two-point victory in Game 4 in order to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. In the process, the Jazz have exposed some major flaws in Denver’s defense. While the Nuggets have been able to put up points, they have struggled to stop Utah’s perimeter penetration, and they have also had a tough time slowing down their paint production. 

Utah got a big boost in Game 3 when point guard Mike Conley returned to the team’s starting lineup after missing the first couple of games. With Conley back and finding his groove, the Jazz will look to ride the momentum that they established over the past three games, and close out the series. Here’s everything you need to know about Game 5 between the Nuggets and Jazz. 

Viewing information

  • Date: Tuesday, Aug. 25 | Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Disney Wide World of Sports — Orlando, Florida
  • TV: TNT
  • Odds: Jazz -3 | Over/Under: 219.5 (via William Hill Sportsbook)

Nuggets: The series has been a humbling one for the Nuggets so far. This is a Denver team with championship aspirations, but it’s become increasingly clear that they’re not going to make it very far in the ultra-competitive Western Conference if they don’t tighten things up on the defensive end. It will be interesting to see what kind of adjustments coach Mike Malone makes for Game 5 after three straight losses. Perhaps he’ll look to put more perimeter pressure on Donovan Mitchell, who has been feasting on Denver’s defense all series. Mitchell has averaged 39.5 points per game through four games. 

Jazz: Utah’s performance in this series has been impressive on both ends of the floor, especially when you consider it’s playing without forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who did not join the team inside the Orlando bubble. Bogdanovic was a key addition for the team last offseason, and he was Utah’s second-leading scorer during the regular season. A plethora of other players have stepped up in Bogdanovic’s absence, and the Jazz will need that again if they want to win Game 5. 

Game prediction

This is the definition of a “must-win” game for the Nuggets. If they lose, they’re season will be over — much earlier than they had hoped heading into postseason play. In short, pride is on the line for Denver here, and that can be a powerful motivator. Thus, expect Denver to come out with purpose on Tuesday night, especially on the defensive end. Added effort on that end, plus solid performances on offense from Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter Jr., and others could be enough to give Denver a much-needed win in this one and allow it to extend the series. Pick: Nuggets +3


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