The Denver Nuggets continued their hot play on this homestand defeating the Atlanta Hawks 105-96. They hold yet another opponent under 100 points which means they have held 75% of their opponents under the century mark for the season. They are 8-1 when they do so and it is carrying this team right now. For the majority of the first half, Aaron Gordon followed Trae Young and played tremendous defense on such a tough matchup. He really aided Denver’s victory tonight, shooting the ball effectively and defending just about every position on the court.

The Nuggets three-point shooting proved to be disappointing again at 28% but their defense held Atlanta to 18% from deep. That was one of the keys to the game because Atlanta is a top ten three-point shooting team and Denver’s perimeter defense bothered Atlanta all night. The Nuggets improve to 6-1 at home, and will look to stretch that to 7-1 as they face the Trail Blazers on Sunday at 6:00 PM

1st Quarter

  • Both teams exchanged baskets to tie the game at ten. The Trae Young to Clint Capela connection was working early as Capela had eight of the Hawks ten points
  • Defense was definitely optional for the majority of the quarter. Both teams shot 60% from the field midway through the quarter
  • The Nugget offense was clicking early as they would jump out to a 28-21 lead. There didn’t seem to be much stagnation, there were constant cutters and continuous movement
  • Denver opened the game shooting 4 of 8 but continued their hot shooting throughout the quarter, obtaining a stretch of 8-10 shooting
  • Even though the Hawks were efficient shooting the basketball, the Nugget defense executed late, forcing 6 turnovers in the quarter

Scoring leaders: Jokic – 11, Capela – 8

Score: 32-25 Nuggets

2nd Quarter

  • Although the Nugget offense was executing in the paint and mid range, they did struggle from beyond the arc. They were 1-14 shooting from three halfway through the second
  • Denver committed five fouls in the first two minutes of the quarter, so they gave the Hawks the penalty with about 10 minutes left. It gave Atlanta a large momentum swing as they climbed back in the game 32-30
  • While the Hawks offense found the rhythm, the Nugget offense lost theirs. Atlanta would go on a 17-2 run to gain a 36-34 lead as Denver only scored one basket in six minutes of play
  • Offensively, it might have been the worst the quarter of the season. Everything the Nuggets threw up seemed to avoid the net, but they did score a couple baskets to tie the game up a 41 apiece
  • Great Nugget defense led to easy baskets on offense. Denver forced some turnovers and got out in transition for some momentum dunks on the fast break
  • Jokic controlled the end of the quarter. He was a monster on the glass and also slow mo’d his way to multiple baskets towards the end of the half

Scoring leaders: Jokic – 15, Young – 11

Score: 49-46 Nuggets

3rd Quarter

  • The Nuggets initiated the quarter with solid play on both ends. Through the first two minutes of the quarter, they held the Hawks scoreless and notched 7 points to go up 56-46
  • The Atlanta offense began to find their rhythm following a timeout with two John Collins threes, a Bogdanovic jumper, and three Trae Young free throws. They would cut the lead to just four
  • Aaron Gordon found wholes in the Hawks defense all night. Most of his points were in the paint as he did a great job cutting off ball, posting up, and rolling for lob opportunities
  • The Nuggets stretched their lead back out to nine thanks to two PJ Dozier threes both off Jokic assists, they also held the Hawks scoreless for about four minutes
  • The Hawks ended the quarter with a John Collins poster jam, a right handed tomahawk, but the Nuggets maintained a ten point lead

Scoring leaders: Jokic/Gordon – 20, Young/Collins – 19

Score: 79-69 Nuggets

4th Quarter

PJ Dozier executed very well in the second half. Of course he was nails on the defensive end, but he was incredibly efficient offensively as well, shooting 5-8 from the field and 2-3 from three for 12 points

Once Trae Young re-entered the game, the Atlanta offense started to gain some confidence but they had to work hard for their buckets as the Nugget defense remained steady

Bones Hyland kindled some momentum halfway through the quarter as he hit two threes in a row giving the Nuggets a 94-79 lead

Trae Young dissected the Denver defense late in the fourth. For about four straight possessions he drove right in the middle of the paint, either scoring a floater or dropping it off to a big for a dunk

Jeff Green took it to the rack with vigorous intentions. He made some tough layups helping his scoring output as he dropped 16 points on 5-6 shooting from the field

Jokic once again controlled the end of the quarter. His offensive rebounding was a dagger in the heart of the Hawks

Scoring leaders: Young – 30, Gordon – 23

Score: 105-96 Nuggets

Stat Leaders

Points: Trae Young – 30

Assists: Jokic – 10

Rebounds: Jokic – 19

Silent Hero of the Game: Aaron Gordon – 23 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists on 7-11 shooting and 3-5 from deep.