Final - OT
  for this game

Nene's clutch free throws get Nuggets past Hawks in OT

Mar 14, 2012 - 5:31 AM Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Nene's free throws with 26.6 seconds left in overtime proved to be the difference as the final two of his 22 points helped lead the Nuggets to a 118-117 victory over the Hawks at Pepsi Center.

The Hawks had a final shot with 3.5 seconds left after Zaza Pachulia caught an inbounds pass in the lane, but his layup was long and Denver secured the rebound.

Ty Lawson filled the stat sheet for the Nuggets with 21 points, six rebounds, and seven assists, while Al Harrington and Danilo Gallinari chipped in 19 points apiece for Denver, which improved to 3-2 on its current nine-game homestand.

"You stay out more than month and your legs are not the same," said Gallinari, who is slowly returning to action after missing 13 games with in an ankle injury. "You have to get back in a rhythm. It's going to take awhile but I'm feeling much better."

Joe Johnson led all scorers with 34 points and Josh Smith added 33 to go with 13 rebounds and seven assists before fouling out in overtime. Kirk Hinrich netted 22 points as the Hawks dropped to 2-3 on their current six-game road trip.

Hinrich had a chance to win the game for Atlanta in regulation as he stepped to line with 1.1 seconds left and his team down one, but he managed just 1- of-2 from the stripe to send the game to an extra frame.

"That was disturbing," said Hinrich after the game. "I made the harder one, the first one. And I couldn't make the last one at the end of the game."

Hinrich redeemed himself in overtime, tallying the Hawks' first five points and adding an assist on a Johnson triple to give the visitors a 113-109 lead.

But the Nuggets scored the final six points in overtime, including Nene's two from the free-throw line to complete the victory for the home team.

Trailing by six with under two minutes to play in regulation, Denver reeled off six straight to tie the game at 102 with 1:22 still to play.

The game remained tied until Smith finished a layup with a nice spin move to give the Hawks a 104-102 lead with 29.6 showing on the clock.

Instant replay then played a huge factor as Atlanta inbounded and the ball appeared to go off of Corey Brewer and out of bounds, but the referees reviewed the play, and ruled it hit the foot of Atlanta's Jannero Pargo on the way out, giving Denver the ball with nine ticks on the clock facing a two- point deficit.

Gallinari took advantage of the overturned call, drilling an off-balance three from the corner with a hand in his face to give Denver a 105-104 lead with 3.9 still to play.

The Nuggets led at the end of every quarter, including 30-26 after one, 64-55 after two, and 82-80 heading into the fourth.

Game Notes

Atlanta will wrap up its six-game road trip in LA on Wednesday, while Denver will host the Thunder on Thursday...Brewer finished with 12 points...The game had 19 lead changes and 13 ties overall.