DENVER (AP) — A blown dunk aside, Kenneth Faried's shooting touch has been spot-on of late.
Faried had 18 points to go with 11 rebounds, helping the Denver Nuggets beat the Utah Jazz 104-84 on Friday night for their third win in a row after an 0-3 start.
"His energy is contagious," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "It is a big part of why we're successful and it is going to have to be a big part of what we do this year."
Faried's exuberance got the better of him midway through the second quarter when he missed a wide-open dunk as his attempt at a stylish, windmill jam bounced off the back rim. But he shook off the gaffe to record his fourth consecutive game with 15 or more points, the longest such stretch of his career.
"I did miss that dunk and I knew it. I was kind of disappointed in myself but I just kept playing hard," Faried said. "A lot of people don't believe I can step out and hit the little 15- or 12-foot jumper, and my teammates do, so they get me in that position. I just jump up and shoot it."
Faried had plenty of help on the offensive end from Corey Brewer, who scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, hitting four 3-pointers. Kosta Koufos and Andre Iguodala added 15 points apiece.
"He made it a game we could rest our guys for tomorrow," Karl said of Brewer, referring to the Nuggets' upcoming game at Golden State on Saturday. "Come the fourth quarter (Saturday), that could be important."
Gordon Hayward had 15 points to lead the Jazz, who remained winless in four road games this season. Randy Foye and Enes Kanter each added 13 points for Utah, which made only four of 23 attempts from 3-point range.
"It wasn't our best outing," Hayward said. "We've got to figure out this road thing. This was a tough one for us. I think we've got to put it behind us."
Summing up his team's play, Utah coach Tyrone Corbin described it as "a very disappointing effort. We just didn't execute."
Corbin added after the game that guard Mo Williams strained his right abductor muscle during the third quarter. His status for Saturday's game against Phoenix was uncertain.