Smith leads balanced attack as Nuggets down HawksMar 1, 2011 - 6:48 AM Denver, CO (Sports Network) - J.R. Smith finished with a team-high 19 points in a reserve role as the Denver Nuggets held off the Atlanta Hawks, 100-90, at the Pepsi Center.
Raymond Felton scored 16 while Kenyon Martin added 14 points with 11 rebounds for Denver, which has won three of four since the All-Star break. Wilson Chandler and Nene added 15 and 13 points, respectively, in the win.
Joe Johnson finished with a game-high 22 points while Al Horford added 21 points and 16 rebounds for Atlanta, which concluded a 3-4 road trip.
Marvin Williams added 13 points and Jamal Crawford and Josh Smith scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the loss.
"We shot 2-for-19 from [three-point range]. You're not going to win taking that many threes on the road," Hawks head coach Larry Drew said.
The Nuggets took a slim 71-70 lead into the fourth, and after keeping the game close in the opening minutes, created some distance down the stretch thanks to J.R. Smith.
Horford gave Atlanta a 74-73 lead with a short hook shot at 10:49, but the Nuggets responded with an 8-0 run, capped by a J.R. Smith three-pointer at 7:50.
The Hawks trimmed their deficit to 85-81, but J.R. Smith made a pair from the line and Nene added a dunk following a crucial rebound from Smith to expand the Denver lead to 89-81 with five minutes left.
The Nuggets stayed in front, and J.R. Smith widened the margin to 10 and kept it there with an alley oop layup and jumper -- surrounding a Crawford basket -- in the final minute.
Horford connected on a jumper to respond, but Arron Afflalo's dunk accounted for the final margin.
The Hawks took a 25-21 lead after the back-and-forth first quarter, and held off a second quarter Nuggets surge to take a 47-46 advantage entering the half.
Martin paced the Nuggets with 10 points on 5-of-6 from the field in the third as Denver took a 71-70 lead into the final stanza.
"I thought our offense was really slow in the first half," Nuggets head coach George Karl said. "In the second half I thought we got better opportunities in the open court."
Atlanta is now 19-15 on the road...The Hawks will return home for a four-game residency that will feature visits from the Bulls, Thunder, Knicks and Lakers...Kirk Hinrich missed the game for Atlanta with a sore calf...The Nuggets have won four straight at home...Denver is 25-7 at home this season -- the second best record in the Western Conference behind San Antonio (28-2)...The Nuggets have won four straight against Atlanta in Denver...Danilo Gallinari did not play for Denver due to a sore big toe on his left foot.
- ATLANTA: 90
Feb 28 11:17 PM
- ATLANTA: 70
End of 3rd
Feb 28 10:43 PM
- ATLANTA: 47
Feb 28 10:04 PM
- ATLANTA: 25
End of 1st
Feb 28 9:32 PM
- ATLANTA: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 28 9:12 PM
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