SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – It was purple raining threes at Vivint Arena Wednesday night, as the Utah Jazz stunned the Denver Nuggets in the season opener, 123-102.

Collin Sexton led seven Jazz players in double figures with 20 points, while Lauri Markkanen added 17, as Utah shot 51 percent from the field in the victory.

“We all have chips on our shoulders,” said Sexton, who made 6 of 12 shots from the field to go along with five rebounds. “Everyone here wants to show people that we’re a tough team.”

Will Hardy won his first game as Jazz head coach, in what many are considering a rebuilding year.

“There’s a real camaraderie with this group even at this early stage because I think all of our guys understand that none of them can do it on their own,” Hardy said.

“We were just so happy for him,” point guard Mike Conley said. “He deserves it. He’s given a lot of guys a lot of confidence to go out there and play the right way.”

Rudy Gay scored 16 points, Malik Beasley had 15 and Mike Conley, the lone returning starter, had 13 as Utah had seven players in double-figure scoring. Rookie Walker Kessler had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the Jazz shot 50.6% from the field.

Rookie Walker Kessler had 12 points, 10 rebounds, while shooting five-for-five from the field, becoming the first player in NBA history to record a double-double while shooting 100 percent in his NBA debut.

The Jazz showed off its depth with the bench outscoring the starters, 68-55.

Nikola Jokic scored 27 points and Aaron Gordon had 22 for Denver.

The Jazz, as might be expected with a young team with 10 new additions, nearly unraveled after leading comfortably most of the game. A series of turnovers and missed rotations allowed the Nuggets to claw back from 24 points down.

Jokic, the two-time reigning Most Valuable Player, brought the Nuggets back to 105-98 on a running hook.

But Gay and Beasley made back-to-back 3-pointers while the Nuggets shook their heads and Beasley did an extended shimmy.

“It’s going to help us down the road to build that confidence that if I’m open, I know my teammates are going to get the ball to me,” said Sexton, who missed most of last year with a torn meniscus. “The Bull is back,” he said, referring to his nickname, “Young Bull”.

Key players Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are back from injuries but the Nuggets looked rusty, especially on defense as they allowed a 14-0 run to start the second quarter and 27-7 overall surge that out the Jazz in command.

When Sexton hit a 3-pointer late in the second quarter, the Jazz led 68-44. Despite Gordon’s 16 points and Jokic’s 14, the Nuggets trailed 75-53 and the Jazz left for the halftime break to a standing ovation from a stunned, yet energized crowd.

The Jazz next hit the road to take on former teammate Rudy Gobert and the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night.