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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Monday, December 29th (All times eastern)

Denver Nuggets (20-11) at Atlanta Hawks (19-10), 7:00 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks will wrap up a lengthy eight-game homestand Monday night when the Denver Nuggets pay a visit to Philips Arena.

The Hawks have won four in a row and improved to 6-1 on the residency with a 129-117 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. Joe Johnson pumped in a season-high 41 points and dished eight assists, just one game after recording the second triple-double of his career.

Josh Smith helped out 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Mike Bibby and Marvin Williams netted 17 and 16 points, respectively for Atlanta, which is a gaudy 13-2 as the host this season.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets opened a four-game road trip with Sunday's 117-110 win over the struggling New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony returned to the Denver lineup after a three-game absence due to a right elbow injury and posted a game-high 32 points and nine rebounds.

J.R. Smith totaled 16 points and five boards for Denver, which has won three of its last four games overall. Chauncey Billups had 14 points and five assists, while Nene added 13 points and nine rebounds.

The Nuggets are 9-7 away from the Pepsi Center this season and will also visit Toronto and Oklahoma City on the swing.

Denver and Atlanta have split the season series each of the past three years, but the Hawks own a 10-5 record over the past 15 meetings. Atlanta is 16-2 over the last 18 games as the host in this series.

12/29 10:30:46 ET

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