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Horford, Smith help Hawks top Nuggets
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Al Horford and Josh Smith each put forth double-doubles and the Atlanta Hawks prevailed with a 108-104 decision over the Denver Nuggets.
Horford posted 25 points and 12 rebounds while also coming away with four steals in the win. Smith contributed 16 points and 13 boards to help the Hawks bounce back after their six-game winning streak was snapped against Cleveland on Friday.
"That's a really good Denver Nuggets basketball team," said Hawks coach Larry Drew. "This team is super charged, they play with a lot of energy. They really get up and down the floor."
Louis Williams and Zaza Pachulia gave solid efforts off the bench, scoring 16 and 11, respectively for Atlanta.
Ty Lawson scored a game-high 32 points on 12-of-16 shooting, including 5-of-5 from downtown, but the Nuggets fell for the fourth time in their last five games.
"It's tough to lose close games, especially the ones of the road where we've been ahead by a lot of points," said Lawson. "We just have to get better in late game situations."
Corey Brewer followed with 19 points and Danilo Gallinari had 16 in the loss.
The Hawks entered the final stanza with an 85-78 advantage and after Denver cut its deficit to three early in the period, Ivan Johnson hit a jumper and scored on a putback to bring the margin back to seven midway through the fourth.
However, Timofey Mozgov dumped in two layups around a pair of scores by Lawson to pull the Nuggets within one at 95-94 with just under four minutes remaining.
A pair of free throws by Gallinari put Denver ahead by one before Smith answered with a dunk, but Lawson then buried his fifth three of the game to give the Nuggets a 101-99 advantage with two minutes left.
The Hawks, however, scored the next seven points unanswered to create the separation they needed to prevail.
After Horford knocked down a long jumper, Williams put Atlanta ahead by two with a pair of free throws before Smith came away with a steal, leading to a three-point play which put Atlanta on top 106-101 with 31 seconds left.
Andre Iguodala drained a triple for Denver to make it a two-point game, but Williams sealed the win with a pair of free throws to account for the final margin.
The Hawks carried a 27-26 lead into the second quarter, where Pachulia scored all 11 of his points. He converted on two three-point plays in the period, the second to put Atlanta ahead 50-42 with 3:15 remaining to go until halftime.
The Nuggets trailed by four heading into the third but a pair of triples by Lawson to open the frame gave them a two-point edge early. However, it didn't last long, as a DeShawn Stevenson's 3-pointer sparked a 12-1 surge for the Hawks to give them a 73-62 lead with 5:09 left in the quarter.
Denver cut Atlanta's edge to two following a JaVale McGee dunk, but a pair of Williams' free throws and a Jeff Teague triple put the Hawks back up by seven by the end of the period.
Denver fell to 4-9 on the road this season ... The Nuggets had won four straight games against the Hawks coming in ... Atlanta has captured four of the last five contests against Denver at home ... Prior to the game, the Hawks recalled John Jenkins from their NBADL affiliate in Baskersfield.
12/05 23:54:11 ET