Denver lost big last night to the Atlanta Hawks 116-98. The Nuggets fell from behind from the get go and despite coming back from a large deficit in the second quarter, they went into the third behind and could not recover.
The scoring for the Hawks was plenty, as all but 3 of the Hawks players scored in double figures, a total of eight different players. Leading the scoring for Atlanta was Tim Hardaway Jr. with 21 total points. Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap each scored 16 apiece and Millsap also pulled down 11 rebounds for a double-double.
On the Nuggets side, the bench played well again with DJ Augustin scoring 17 points and big man Joffrey Lauvergne scoring 16. Lauvergne who has to wear the mask on his face is playing well through a definitely annoying obstacle. Garry Harris for the Nuggets scored 15 and Emmanuel Mudiay scored 12. Rounding out the scorers in double figures was Jusuf Nurkic who scored 10 25:54 of playing time. For Nurk, earning a high amount of playing time is definitely good to see as he hadn’t played in the past two games.
While the bench played well, the Denver starters came out and scored a combined 49 points. They weren’t scoring at all and the early deficit they got the team into definitely hurt them. The Hawks led by as many as 18 points and the Nuggets just couldn’t keep pace with the high tempo offense of the Hawks.
Atlanta came out and scored 33 points in the first quarter vs. the Nuggets 23 points. In the second quarter the Nuggets did a good job of slowing down the game allowing the Hawks to score only 21, but from there Atlanta took over the game and wouldn’t look back.
Kenneth Faried did not play due to some lower back stiffness, but it does not appear to be serious, more of a precaution to keep it from getting worse. Darrell Arthur played in his spot, but only scored 6 points.
Denver will play next on Saturday at Charlotte against the Hornets. The Hornets are hot, winning 9 of their last 1o games so for the Nuggets it will not be an easy game to win. The Nuggets will look to improve on their dismal 12-22 away record. Look for the Nuggets to tighten down on D if they want to have any chance of wining the game and Emmanuel Mudiay will have to improve on his bad shooting night in which he missed 8 shots on 11 attempts.