NBA Game Summary - Denver at Atlanta
(Saturday, November 7th)
Final Score: Atlanta 125, Denver 100
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Jamal Crawford poured in 25 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks in a 125-100 victory over the Denver Nuggets at Philips Arena.
Joe Johnson and Josh Smith added 22 points each for the Hawks, who have won three of four. Marvin Williams and Maurice Evans chipped in 14 and 12 points, respectively. Al Horford totaled 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Mike Bibby gave 11 points in the win.
Smith also had nine boards and seven assists for the Hawks, who moved to 29-6 all-time in Atlanta against Denver.
Carmelo Anthony amassed a game-best 30 points and six boards for the Nuggets, who dropped their second straight game after starting the season with five consecutive wins. Chauncey Billups donated 27 points and seven helpers, while Nene had 12 points and Ty Lawson 10 in defeat.
"This is the nature of the NBA, man," said Billups. "It's disappointing to [have losses] come on back-to-back nights, but this Atlanta team is tough. You have to give them credit."
Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin did not play due to a left fibula contusion suffered in Friday's game.
"It's tough missing a guy like Kenyon, who's really the leader of our defense," Billups said. "We're a little short-handed, that's just how it is."
The loss means Nuggets coach George Karl remains in search of his 939th career coaching win, which would move him past the legendary Red Auerbach into eighth place on the all-time NBA list.
The Hawks were up 33-25 after the first quarter and assumed a double-digit lead, 60-50, at the intermission.
Johnson's three-pointer to begin the third quarter sparked a 10-0 run. Johnson also added a pair of free throws on the surge, which gave the Hawks a 70-50 lead about 2 1/2 minutes in.
Atlanta's lead hovered around 20 points before the club took a 90-74 cushion into the final 12 minutes.
The home team's lead never dipped below 12 points in the final frame and ballooned as high as 27 points.
"I think it was a great team effort, we have such a really good starting five," said Crawford. "We just have to make things easier for them, give them a lead and that's what we tried to do."
Atlanta shot 51.7 percent from the field, while Denver hit at a 41 percent clip...The Hawks won the battle of the boards, 44-36...Nuggets guard J.R. Smith served the final game of his suspension Saturday, stemming from a guilty plea for a reckless driving accident that killed a friend of his in 2007...The Hawks have dominated Denver in Atlanta recently, winning three straight and 18 of their last 20 as the host in the series.
11/07 22:20:01 ET