The Atlanta Hawks lost their fourth straight game on Monday night, falling to the Denver Nuggets 129-122 at State Farm Arena. The Nuggets snapped their three-game losing streak and improved to 14-9 on the season.
The Hawks started the game strong, leading by eight points after the first quarter. They shot 61.9% from the field and 60% from three in the opening period. Trae Young had nine points and four assists, while Bogdan Bogdanovic added nine points off the bench.
The Nuggets, however, took the lead in the second quarter, thanks to a breakout performance by rookie Julian Strawther. He scored 19 points in the first half, making five of his seven three-point attempts. The Nuggets outscored the Hawks 37-26 in the second quarter and led 65-62 at halftime.
The Nuggets extended their lead to 18 points by the end of the third quarter, outscoring the Hawks 39-24. Nikola Jokic, the two-time MVP and reigning champion, had 10 points, four rebounds, and four assists in the quarter, while Jamal Murray added nine points.
The Hawks’ hopes of a comeback were dashed when Young was ejected with 4:43 left in the third quarter. He picked up two technical fouls for arguing with the referees, and coach Quin Snyder also received a technical for defending him. Young finished with 16 points and six assists in 25 minutes.
The Hawks showed some fight in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to seven points with 1:45 remaining in the game. They outscored the Nuggets 39-29 in the final period and made 10 of their 18 three-pointers. Bogdanovic had 12 points in the quarter, while Dejounte Murray had 11.
However, the Nuggets were able to secure the win with some clutch free throws and timely baskets. Jokic made two free throws with 1:34 left to make it a nine-point game, and Murray scored four points in the final minute to seal the deal.
Jokic finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists, recording his 10th triple-double of the season. Strawther had a career-high 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting, while Murray had 23 points and six assists.
Bogdanovic led the Hawks with 40 points, while Murray had 21 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Saddiq Bey had 18 points and nine rebounds, while Clint Capela had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The Nuggets shot 54.7% from the field and 46.2% from three, while the Hawks shot 50.6% from the field and 44.4% from three. The Nuggets outrebounded the Hawks 48-38 and had 36 assists to the Hawks’ 28.
You can watch the game highlights here.
You can read some game analysis from different sources here.