Despite a rough start to Game 3, the Utah Jazz rallied, to rout Denver 105-93 and take a 2-1 advantage in this best-of-seven first-round Western Conference playoff series.
The catalyst for the Jazz's comeback, was backup forward Paul Millsap. The undersized power forward scored 18 second quarter points and lit up the Nuggets' defense with eight straight buckets in his record-setting quarter.
For the game, Millsap connected on nine consecutive jumpers, before finally missing one late in the third quarter. The Jazz forward finished the game with career playoff highs of 22 points and 19 rebounds.
In any previous playoff game, Millsap had never made more than seven field goals in a single game.
Jazz point guard Deron Williams was steller again, chipping in 24-points and 10 assists. His floor game nullified a terrific 25-point effort from Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups, who promised to come out and be more physical.
Billups was more physical, but it made little difference in the outcome. After the Nuggets jumped out to a 7-0 lead, things went downhill fast for Denver.
Utah's defense put the clamps on Carmelo, who played his worst game statistacly of the series. Melo scored just 25 points, well below his previous combined outputs of 74 points.
The Jazz's switchng defense confused Melo, who was hampered by five fouls and an 0-3 performance from three-point range. Anthony sat from the bench and watched, as Utah built a 23-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets are now in a "must win" situation for Game 4. If they lose Sunday night they'll be down 3-1 in the series. Only eight teams in the history of the league, have comeback from such a deficit.