With only one true center on the roster, and rookie Jusuf Nurkic not far removed from a sprained ankle, the Denver Nuggets keep trotting out Kenneth Faried at center – and sometimes, as was the case Wednesday night, they get burned.

Utah center Rudy Gobert had 20 points and 12 rebounds to power the Jazz to a blow-out 98-84 win over the Nuggets Wednesday night in Utah.

Kenneth Faried with 19 points and ten rebounds, both team high’s for Denver. Ty Lawson added 15 points.

The night looked like it might go well for Denver early. The Nuggets actually ended the first quarter with a solid run, helped along by threes from Jameer Nelson and Will Barton to led the Jazz 29-22 after one. But with Denver’s young group up off the bench in the second, the offense went ice cold, and Utah’s Trey Burke came off the bench and quickly heated up. Burke scored ten straight points as the Jazz took a 34-33 lead and never looked back.

Gary Harris, Jusuf Nurkic, and new acquisition Ian Clark combined for 33 minutes and six points on 2-8 shooting. They were just part of the team’s shooting struggles Wednesday night – only Faried and Will Barton shot over 50 percent from the field, and Denver as a whole shot just 34.7 percent from the field and 21.2 percent from three. Nelson in particular struggled from the floor, shooting just 1-8 from the field. Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari were also off Wednesday – Chandler shot just 1-7 and Gallinari, although his aggressiveness from the field was nice to see, went just 3-14.

Faried and Lawson tried to get things going early in the third, but it wasn’t enough to make a dent in Utah’s by then double-digit lead. After their 29 point first, the Nuggets managed just 31 points in the second and third combined, and heading into the fourth, the Jazz sported a 22-point lead.

With both benches up in the fourth, Denver was able to make a bit of a dent in Utah’s lead, with Barton attacking the basket and making a couple jump shots. The Nuggets also got some late production from Joffrey Lauvergne, who finished with eight points and eight rebounds in one of his better performances so far for Denver.

Barton ended the night with 13 points on 6-12 shooting, and along with Faried, was one of the few Nuggets who could get anything going.

The Nuggets will have Thursday off before taking on the Spurs Friday night in San Antonio. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. mountain time.

Zach Marburger is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @BurchBurger.

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