SALT LAKE CITY — Nuggets coach George Karl takes a pragmatic approach to playing the Utah Jazz on their home floor, in front of their home crowd and inside one of the NBA’s loudest arenas.
“It’s always a tough place to play, it’s a tough place to get calls,” Karl said before Monday’s Jazz-Nuggets game. “It’s a tough place to keep momentum on your side and composure is important in this building.”
Denver blew a 16-point lead and wound up losing to the Jazz 105-103 in an atmosphere that was raucous in the second-half.
EnergySolutions Arena is friendly to the Jazz but not so much to visiting teams. And the way Karl sees it, it’s a place where the breaks usually go Utah’s way.
“The fans are into the game, they’re pretty intense, the volume in the building is pretty high,” Karl said. “And they seem to get a friendly whistle on a lot of nights.”
The Nuggets were called for 26 fouls, plus three technicals. The Jazz were whistled for 30, plus three technicals.
The Jazz went into Monday’s game as one of only three teams with perfect records on their home floor.
The other two? The New York Knicks and Miami Heat.
Of the three, the Jazz were the only team playing at home Monday night.
“Our fans? They’re amazing,” said Jazz guard Jamaal Tinsley.
Jazz 105, Nuggets 103
• BEST LINE: Derrick Favors came off the bench for 19 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
• KEY STAT: After allowing them to shoot better than 70 percent in the first half, the Jazz held the Nuggets to 36 percent after halftime.
• SIDELINE MOMENT: Prior to Monday’s game, the Jazz held a moment of silence for Sasha McHale, daughter of Rockets head coach Kevin McHale. Sasha McHale died Saturday after a long battle with lupus. She was 23.
• OLD FRIENDS: Jazz guard Earl Watson, 34, said he has known Denver point guard Andre Miller, 36, a long time.
“I’ve known Andre half my life,” Watson said. “I think we know each other’s game pretty well. He’s a great person, a former teammate. Just a good guy. It’s fun to play against Andre.”
Miller, who played at the University of Utah from 1995-99, grew up in southern California. Watson, who grew up in Kansas City, played college ball at UCLA from 1997-01.
They were teammates on the 2005-06 Nuggets.
• HISTORY LESSON: Monday marked the 12th anniversary of John Stockton’s 1,271st game in a Jazz uniform, surpassing Boston’s John Havlicek for the most games played for one team. Stockton played 1,504 games for the Jazz, including 1,300 starts. He also holds the team record for consecutive games played with 609.
• UP NEXT: The Jazz hit the road for three games. The trip begins Wednesday night in New Orleans, then shifts to Oklahoma City on Friday and Houston on Saturday.