Gordon Hayward likened his rookie NBA season to a roller coaster.

On Wednesday night, he finished it off with a performance as thrilling as California Screamin'.

Hayward scored a career-high 34 points to lead the Utah Jazz to a 107-103 win over the Denver Nuggets. It was a performance you could see Hayward building to as he's gotten more comfortable, more aggressive, more confident and more productive in the final weeks of his rookie campaign.

It was the third time in Hayward's last six games that he set a new career scoring high, and with the way the rookie from Butler has worked this season it was just a matter of time before he strung together such quality outings.

"He's learned so much about the NBA game this year, and now he's starting to show it," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. "He's a prime example that if you work relentlessly all year long, stay in shape, do extra running, do extra shooting and once you get time on the floor and you get your confidence going, you see this kind of result."

Hayward made two free throws to tie the game at 103-103 with 1:08 left in the game. Those foul shots gave him the most points by a Jazz rookie since Jerry Eaves had 35 against the Pistons in 1983. Hayward was just the fourth rookie this season to score 30 or more points in a game. The others are the Clippers' Blake Griffin, the Kings' DeMarcus Cousins and the Wizards' John Wall.

That is good company to keep for Hayward, who killed the Nuggets in a variety of ways. He buried five 3-pointers. He knocked down jumpers. He drove to the basket and also sank step-back jumpers. He dunked on Denver's Chris "Birdman" Andersen two times, which greatly delighted the EnergySolutions Arena crowd.