Dennis Schroder delivered from half court – twice.
The Hawks point guard threw two alley-oop passes from near midcourt that Tim Hardaway Jr. dunked in highlight-worthy fashion. Call them the Hawks’ Dunk of the Year Part I and II.
They were just two of the many positives in the Hawks wire-to-wire 117-106 victory over the Nuggets Wednesday night at Philips Arena. Yet still the Hawks had to hang on for dear life to get the victory.
The Hawks led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter. However, the Nuggets closed to within four points, 109-105 with 2:53 remaining. Then, Millsap completed a three-point play with 1:57 left and Schroder hit a pair of free throws with 1:10 left for some needed breathing room.
The Hawks had seven players in double-figure scoring. Schroder led the way with 24 points. Millsap (23), Hardaway (14), Bazemore (14), Dwight Howard (11), Mike Muscala (10) and DeAndre Bembry (10). Schroder and Howard had double-doubles with 10 assists and 13 rebounds respectively.
The Hawks (31-22) have won four straight over the Nuggets and eight of the past nine games in Atlanta.
The Nuggets (23-29) had six players score in double-figures led by Wilson Chandler with 24 points.
The Hawks scored 39 points in the first quarter to lead by as many as 12 points. They scored 33 points in the second quarter to lead by as many as 18 points. The 72 first-half points were the most for the Hawks in any half this season. The Hawks took a 72-55 lead into intermission.
Schroder finished with 18 points and six assists in the first half. The Hawks also got double-digit scoring in the first two quarters from Bazemore (13), Hardaway (10) and Millsap (10).
The Hawks pushed their lead to 20 points early in the third quarter. The Nuggets made a charge and got as close as nine points several times in the period. The Hawks took a 98-87 lead into the fourth quarter.