NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 13th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (24-17) at Denver Nuggets (23-19), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks will resume a season-high six-game road trip in the Rockies on Tuesday against a Denver Nuggets team in the midst of a season-long nine-game homestand.
The Hawks improved to 2-2 on their trek Sunday in Sacramento when Josh Smith, who has publicly asked to be traded, continued his recent scoring binge with a 28-point effort, carrying Atlanta over the Kings, 106-99.
Joe Johnson joined Smith in double figures, finishing with 21 points and six assists as the club improved to 12-11 on the road this season. Jeff Teague added 16 points, while Marvin Williams and Kirk Hinrich both netted 12 in the win.
Zaza Pachulia rounded out Atlanta's high scorers, totaling 10 points to go with 13 rebounds.
Both teams were careless with the ball, as Atlanta had 17 turnovers and the Kings coughed it up 16 times. The Hawks took advantage of Sacramento's mistakes, scoring 23 points off the miscues to make up for their own shortcomings.
"I have to keep doing what I'm doing and not worry about any outside distractions," said Smith, who is averaging 25.5 points and 9.8 rebounds in March.
Denver, meanwhile, fell to 2-2 on its residency Sunday, tripping against Memphis, 94-91.
Nene, Al Harrington and Corey Brewer each scored 15 points for the Nuggets, who fell to 2-2 on their current homestand.
Andre Miller scored 14 points off the bench, but lost the ball on Denver's final possession, the last of 24 turnovers for the hosts.
"They have good defensive hands," Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo said of the Grizzlies. "We have to be a little stronger with the ball."
Forward Danilo Gallinari was scoreless in his first start since Feb. 6. It was just his fourth game back after missing 13 with a balky left ankle. The Italian star is averaging just 4.5 points and is a dismal 5-of-25 from the floor since returning. Before the injury, Gallinari was Denver's leading scorer at 17.0 points per game.
"I'm sure he's frustrated," coach George Karl told the Nuggets' website. "I was going to play him a little bit more down the stretch (Sunday), but I just thought Corey was playing at a much higher level."
Denver, which is 12-10 at home, will also entertain Oklahoma City, Boston, Dallas and Detroit on its long homestand.
The Nuggets have won three straight and four of their last five against the Hawks.
03/13 10:40:25 ET