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3 keys in the Utah Jazz’s 37-point Game 3 win over the Denver Nuggets

Utah takes a 2-1 playoff series lead with the convincing victory.

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Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell (45) dunks against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool

SALT LAKE CITY — For the second game in a row, the Utah Jazz rolled over the Denver Nuggets Friday afternoon, winning Game 3 of their first-round playoff series 124-87 to take a 2-1 lead.

Jazz-Nuggets playoff schedule

(3) Denver Nuggets

vs. (6) Utah Jazz

Game 1

Nuggets 135, Jazz 125 (OT)
Game 2

Jazz 124, Nuggets 105
Game 3

Jazz 124, Nuggets 87
Game 4

Jazz 129, Nuggets 127
Game 5

Nuggets 117, Jazz 107
Game 6

Nuggets 119, Jazz 107
Game 7

Nuggets 80, Jazz 78, Nuggets win series 4-3

Here are three keys from the game.

  • The Jazz were tremendous defensively throughout, starting with the first quarter as the Nuggets scored just 14 points in the opening 12 minutes. Most notably, Utah did an outstanding job of getting in passing lanes to force turnovers. The Jazz finished with nine steals, and Denver committed 17 turnovers overall.
  • The Jazz were also very good offensively, as the Nuggets’ hapless defense had no answers. Utah went 18-of-37 from behind the 3-point line and scored 48 points in the paint.
  • After missing the first two games of the series, Utah guard Mike Conley was outstanding, finishing with 27 points.