Playing their seventh game in 11 days, and their fourth in the last five, Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz just didn’t have the energy to grind past the Denver Nuggets on the road.
The Jazz fell 103-93 at the Pepsi Center, and afterward, head coach Quin Snyder talked about the team’s energy during this rough January stretch.
“No excuses,” Snyder said. “Fatigue? Everybody’s fatigued. This is January. It’s hard. To the extent that becomes an excuse, you can ride that one as long as you want. I don’t want our guys to think about being fatigued.”
Gordon started the game off nicely, grabbing an offensive rebound and making a 3-point field goal on the team’s first two possessions. He added another trey in the first quarter, but it was overall an off night for the Jazz star. He finished with nine points, six rebounds and three assists in the defeat, breaking a string of 17 consecutive games with 16 or more points.
“He had a bad game,” Snyder said. “He’s had a lot of really good games. I’m telling everybody not to talk about fatigue, but some of it was he has to get his juice back. That’s hard to do if you don’t have off days, you just have to grind.”
The Jazz were in solid shape early, taking a 22-18 lead into the second quarter, but it didn’t last long. Utah held a 35-34 lead with 4:52 to go in the first half, but the Nuggets closed with a 19-4 run, and the Jazz never recovered.
Gordon and the Jazz will have a much-needed day of rest Wednesday before welcoming the Los Angeles Lakers to Vivint Smart Home Arena for a Thursday night matchup on TNT.
Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. MT.