At the moment Brian Williams dunked in double overtime, he knew the Nuggets would avoid playoff elimination once again.
"At that point, we knew we had the momentum with us," said Williams, whose dunk midway through the second extra session gave Denver a lead it never relinquished in a 109-101 victory Tuesday night that trimmed Utah's series lead to 3-2. "We had everything going for us. We knew we could definitely do it."
It was Denver's third overtime victory in 10 playoff games and its fifth straight success in a must-win situation.
Bryant Stith and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf scored 22 points each and Robert Pack and Williams added 19 apiece for the Nuggets.
Dikembe Mutombo's seven blocks gave him 31 for the series, breaking Hakeem Olajuwon's record of 30 set last year against Seattle. Mutombo also had seven points and seven rebounds.
No team has ever won an NBA playoff series after trailing 3-0, but Denver still has a chance to be the first. The series returns to Denver for Game 6 on Thursday. Game 7, if necessary, will be back in Utah on Saturday.
"They have a lot of character and they have a lot of heart -- they don't know when they're beat," Denver Coach Dan Issel said.
The game was tied 87-87 at the end of regulation and 94-94 after one extra period before Williams' jam off a pass from Pack sparked a 7-0 run that gave the Nuggets a 101-94 lead with 2:27 remaining.
Utah Coach Jerry Sloan said his team was ready to play, but the Nuggets simply refused to fold.
Jazz owner Larry H. Miller scuffled with two fans just before the second half began, and then left the arena, team spokesman Dave Allred said.