DENVER -- The Denver Nuggets' young roster got a lesson in closing out games from two crafty veterans.

Jameer Nelson scored seven of his 17 points in the final 3:55, Darrell Arthur had 16 points and eight rebounds, both season highs, and the Nuggets held on to beat the Utah Jazz 103-93 on Tuesday night.

Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 11 rebounds for his 17th double-double of the season for Denver (19-25).

Jokic's production has become the norm for the Nuggets, but he got help from two of his oldest teammates. Nelson, a 12-year veteran, bounced back from a tough game in Minnesota to deliver down the stretch while Arthur came off the bench in the first quarter to give Denver a spark.

"Jameer Nelson -- seven assists, zero turnovers. He takes care of the ball, and look at the big shots he made," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "At times we haven't closed the game, and tonight we were able to do that. Hopefully that's a sign of growth. It's great to have veteran guys step up."

Derrick Favors scored 18 points, George Hill had 17 and Boris Diaw added 16 for Utah (29-18). The Jazz lost on consecutive nights after winning six straight. On Monday, they dropped a late lead to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a matchup of the top two teams in the Northwest Division.

Playing for the fourth time in five nights was tough, especially against a n opponent that has found its offensive flow. The Nuggets came into Tuesday averaging 121.2 points in their previous six games but faced a stiff challenge against Utah, which is tops in the NBA in points allowed.

"It was tough mentally, and I just think it was mental fatigue out there," Favors said.

The Nuggets trailed by as many as 12 in the first period but finished the first half on a 26-7 run to take a 51-39 halftime lead.

"In the second quarter, we definitely picked it up defensively," Arthur said. "Didn't turn the ball over as much and give away points."

Holding Denver to 51 points in the first half was proof of Utah's stingy defense, but the Nuggets started to pull away in the third quarter. They quickly extended the lead to 16 on Danilo Gallinari's dunk.

The Jazz cut it to 80-71 on Diaw's layup early in the fourth quarter, but Wilson Chandler hit a 3-pointer -- his only points of the game -- and later Arthur's jumper made it 88-73 with 8:34 left.

"We were actually fortunate to be where we were the way the game evolved," Utah coach Quin Snyder said. "Give our guys credit, we continued to compete."

The Jazz had one final push behind Rudy Gobert. His put-back got the deficit under 10, and a free throw and dunk made it 90-84 with 4:40 left.

After Nelson made it an eight-point game, the Nuggets went cold and Utah cut it to 92-88. Hill missed a corner 3-pointer that would have made it a one-point deficit, and Nelson hit a jumper on the other end with 2:07 left.

"I've made a ton of tough shots and a ton of big shots in my career, and I've missed a ton, so it doesn't bother me make or miss," Nelson said.

After a timeout, Arthur stole the ball from Gobert, and Jokic converted a three-point play to make it 97-88 with 1:39 left.

"He's so tough," Arthur said of Gobert. "When he rolls like that, it definitely generates help, so I did my best to stay in front of him, show my hands and not foul. They had some shooters that we left open. George Hill shot one, Diaw got one, but (Gobert) rolls so hard, you have to be there. Those are the shots you have to give up."

The Jazz missed open 3-pointers in the final few minutes that would have made it a tighter game.

NOTES: Nuggets G Emmanuel Mudiay was out for the second consecutive game due to lower back soreness. Mudiay left Saturday's game against the Clippers after a hard screen aggravated his back. Coach Michael Malone said the team will not rush him back. ... Utah G Rodney Hood missed his fifth straight game with a right knee hyperextension/bone contusion. ... Denver claimed G Mo Williams but plans to waive him. The Nuggets plan on signing a player to a 10-day contract, possibly F Johnny O'Bryant. ... Utah G Alec Burks played his college basketball at the University of Colorado at Boulder.