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Nuggets down Bucks in Hunt's debut

Mar 4, 2015 - 5:48 AM Denver, CO ( - Danilo Gallinari posted a season-high 26 points to lead the Denver Nuggets in a 106-95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night in Melvin Hunt's interim debut with the team.

The Nuggets fired head coach Brian Shaw earlier in the day, citing that he ran out of time to turn the organization around. Shaw, who went 56-85 in Denver, had his trouble over his tenure with the Nuggets and even admitted earlier this season that he needed coaching books to help him with ways to handle the players.

"I'm going to ad lib and play it by ear," Hunt said during a pregame interview. "It's a regular day. This is our business, so let's do it."

Ty Lawson finished with 16 points and 10 assists for Denver, which snapped a 10-game losing streak at home -- including a six-game skid overall. Kenneth Faried netted 14 points with 14 rebounds in the win.

Ersan Ilyasova led the Bucks with 21 points, Khris Middleton had 20 points with seven rebounds and six assists, and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 19 points with 11 rebounds.

Milwaukee has lost three straight games.

"There is a lot of good stuff that we can look at tonight," said Bucks coach Jason Kidd. "Defensively, we have to get better."

John Henson converted a hook shot to close a 7-0 run for the Bucks that gave them a 68-67 lead with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. The Nuggets then ended the quarter on a 9-2 spurt to grab a six-point edge entering the fourth.

Jameer Nelson scored the first seven points of an 11-2 run for Denver to open the fourth that pushed its lead to 87-72 with 9:14 remaining in the game.

Milwaukee countered with a 6-0 burst, but Erick Green's four-point play extended the margin back to double digits.

The Bucks cut their deficit to seven on a couple of occasions down the stretch only to have the Nuggets come up with an answer and ultimately snap their losing skids.

The Nuggets raced out to a 13-3 lead in the early going as Gallinari netted the first eight points of the game. Milwaukee worked its way back to tie the score at 29-29 after 12 minutes.

The game remained close in the second until Denver used an 11-1 run over the final 3:55 of the half to take a 55-51 lead into the locker room at half.

Game Notes

The Nuggets led by as much as 15 ... J.J. Hickson had 10 rebounds off the bench for Denver ... The Nuggets outrebounded Milwaukee 43-41 ... The Bucks committed 14 turnovers that led to 20 Denver points.