Bench Powers Nuggets Past Hawks
DENVER — The Denver Nuggets were up so big and comfortably that not even a late run — an impressive late run at that — could make any sort of difference.Well, except raise the anxiety level of their interim coach, of course.Danilo Gallinari had 23 points and Will Barton added 16, helping the Nuggets hang on to beat Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta 115-102 on Wednesday night for their eighth straight home win over the Hawks.This game was such a rout by the end of the third quarter that Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer inserted his bench players. The Hawks went on a 24-1 run midway through the fourth quarter to make the score respectable after trailing by 32 with 7:32 remaining.Even after the game, interim Nuggets coach Melvin Hunt was still jittery after watching that big lead almost evaporate.”That’s a real good team over there,” Hunt said. “They never give in.”The Nuggets are playing with more emotion and energy under Hunt, who’s 4-2 since stepping in after Brian Shaw was fired. The team has scored 100 or more points in every game under Hunt.This wasn’t exactly the way Atlanta wanted to begin a six-game road swing. Although the Hawks have one of the NBA’s top road marks, they’ve dropped two in a row away from home to struggling teams. They also fell in Philadelphia last weekend.”We’re a good team, but no team in this league is good enough to look at another person’s jersey, look at another person’s record and come out and play like that,” said DeMarre Carroll, whose team hasn’t won in the Mile High City since Dec. 6, 2006. “We got down big. Thought we could come back, like we normally do. They kept their foot on the pedal.”It was an uncharacteristic game for Atlanta, which was outrebounded (44-32), made less 3-pointers (13-9) and couldn’t dominate down low (each team had 34 points in the paint). Even more, the Hawks allowed the Nuggets to shoot 60 percent through three quarters.”This is not Hawks’ basketball,” Carroll said. “This is not what we pride ourselves … – Click Here To Visit Article Source