Notebook: Nuggets 104, Hawks 88



Posted Mar 5, 2013 12:51 AM

By Michael Kelly, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Corey Brewer scored 22 points, Ty Lawson had 18 points and eight assists and the Denver Nuggets pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Atlanta Hawks 104-88 on Monday night.

Kenneth Faried had 10 points and 13 rebounds for Denver (39-22), which won its 11th straight at home and improved to 26-3 at Pepsi Center. The Nuggets tied the Miami Heat for the best home record in the NBA. The Nuggets have won five straight overall. Al Horford led the Hawks with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Atlanta, which started this six-game road trip with three straight wins, finished 3-3.

QUOTABLE: "It's the energy, the altitude, but we're also jelling as a team. We're starting to play together and we know each other a little bit."

-- Corey Brewer on the Nuggets winning at home

THE STAT: Josh Smith's bucket late in the first half gave him 10,000 points for his career. He is the 24th player in NBA history -- and sixth active player -- with 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 2,000 assists and 1,000 blocked shots. He is the ninth player to do it with one team. He was presented with a game ball after he came out of the game. He finished with 15 points.

TURNING POINT: The Nuggets defense in the fourth quarter. After committing seven turnovers themselves in the third, they forced seven by Atlanta in the fourth, which led to 12 points. Brewer heated up, scoring 10 of his points in the period including eight in a decisive run at the start that turned an eight-point lead into a 17.

QUOTABLE II: "It's a blessing to get that mark. Just got to keep working hard and hopefully I can accomplish more things in this league."

-- Josh Smith on reaching the 10,000 points milestone

HOT: JaVale McGee got the crowd into it with his athleticism in the first half. He had two put-back dunks, blocked Anthony Tolliver's 3-point shot into the crowd, got a rebound and then slammed home a long lob pass from Andre Miller to help the Nuggets take a 16-point lead. McGee finished with nine points and five blocks.

NOT: The Hawks' training room was more populated than their bench. Kyle Korver (sprained right big toe), Zaza Pachulia (sore right achilles) didn't dress and DeShawn Stevenson didn't play to rest his sore knees. Then, in the first half, Jeff Teague turned his left ankle and Ivan Johnson dislocated the middle finger on his left hand. Both players returned to the game.

QUOTABLE III: "It was a tough, but I was proud of the guys who dressed up and played. It's a long season, you deal with injuries, and guys came out and fought."

-- Al Horford on playing shorthanded

GOOD MOVE: Atlanta was tired but it didn't seem to zap the team's defensive energy in the third quarter. The Hawks forced seven turnovers and for most of the period slowed down Denver's fast break, which had worked well in the first half. They couldn't sustain it in the fourth.

QUOTABLE IV: "I saw guys, they were fatigued. I didn't want to put a lot of minutes on a lot of guys particularly after we played last night. Coming into a building like this, you can't play tired. You've got to make sure you have fresh guys."

-- Atlanta coach Larry Drew on his team running out of gas down the stretch

ROOKIE WATCH: With the Hawks shorthanded, guard John Jenkins got more playing time and responded with 12 points.

NOTABLE: Lawson was named the Western Conference player of the week after averaging 21 points, 11.7 assists and seven rebounds in three games. ... Denver's 11 straight home wins is its longest since winning 12 in a row from March 16-Aprl 19, 2005. ... Atlanta was 4-for-6 from 3-point range in the first quarter and 3-for-18 from long range the rest of the game. ... The Nuggets had 30 assists and are 9-0 when reaching that number.

UP NEXT: For the Hawks, Wednesday vs. Philadelphia, Friday @ Boston, Saturday vs. Brooklyn. For the Nuggets, Tuesday @ Sacramento, Thursday vs. L.A. Clippers, Saturday vs. Minnesota.