Hawks earn rare road win, beat Nuggets


DENVER – The architects of this season’s NBA schedule punctuated a trying West Coast swing for the Hawks with a cruel final destination.

Atlanta finally concluded its nine-day, five-game road trip Wednesday night at 5,280 feet above sea level, a figure that serves as a warning sign posted anywhere you look inside the Pepsi Center.

After suffering two heartbreaking, one-point losses on the trip, including Monday’s defeat in Los Angeles against the Clippers, the road-weary Hawks had to battle the stout-at-home Nuggets, Denver’s mile-high altitude and every other demon that has haunted this young team during phase one of its massive rebuild.

Somehow the Hawks overcame it all to stamp their first victory of 2018. 

Atlanta, spurred by effective 3-point shooting, timely defense and a big bench contribution, beat the Nuggets 110-97 to improve to 4-19 on the road. Denver lost at home for just the fifth time in 19 games.

 

Taurean Prince scored 14 points in the first half, highlighted by a string of three straight 3-pointers in the first quarter that helped the Hawks build a 29-19 lead in what was nearly a wire-to-wire win against a team competing for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Dennis Schroder unleashed his unique brand of offensive mastery in the second quarter – an alley-oop pass to John Collins followed by back-to-back layups in traffic – to spark Atlanta to a 54-46 halftime lead. 

Schroder’s downhill attacks – he had a team-high 19 points and 10 assists – sparked a strong outside shooting effort. The Hawks, who entered the game seventh in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage (37.5), hit 12-of-27 (44.4) from long range Wednesday. Prince, who finished 16 points, hit 4-of-9 from the perimeter.

And the 3-point pendulum swung both ways for Atlanta. Aggressive in closing out on Denver shooters, the Hawks did their part in limiting the Nuggets to 9-of-36 (25 percent) shooting from deep.

Malcolm Delaney provided a playmaking punch off the bench in the second half. Five of his six assists and six of his 10 points came in the second half. The guard’s back-to-back buckets midway through the fourth quarter gave the Hawks a 93-81 lead, their largest of the game. They coasted from there to improve to 11-30.

A long, trying road trip ended with a happy flight.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Oregon reportedly adds South Florida grad transfer TE Kano Dillon
Oregon reportedly adds South Florida grad transfer TE Kano Dillon

It’s a big weekend for Oregon on the high school recruiting front, landing c ommitments from at least three players who will be part of the program in 2019 and beyond. There are needs with the 2018 team as well, though, and the Ducks appear to have addressed one by landing a graduate transfer. Per ScoopDuck.com’s...
Donald Williams commits to Rutgers: Scarlet Knights add 2019 in-state CB
Donald Williams commits to Rutgers: Scarlet Knights add 2019 in-state CB

Mason Rudolph goes to New England Patriots as 1st-round pick in Tom Fornelli’s final mock draft
Mason Rudolph goes to New England Patriots as 1st-round pick in Tom Fornelli’s final mock draft

The 2018 NFL Draft is less than a week away, and it’s still up for debate as to where former Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph will land. But at least one expert has Rudolph, who led the FBS in passing yards as a senior in 2017, going as a first-round pick. CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli, in his final mock draft...
Gohara works four innings in Triple-A rehab start
Gohara works four innings in Triple-A rehab start

Luiz Gohara had a much better outing in his second rehabilitation start. The Braves’ left-hander worked four innings for Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday. He gave up two hits and one earned run, a homer, struck out four and walked one for the Stripers in a game at the Pawtucket Red Sox. He allowed just a second-inning home run by Mike Ohlman to left...
Florida legend Emmitt Smith reps Georgia on G-Day as son visits Bulldogs
Florida legend Emmitt Smith reps Georgia on G-Day as son visits Bulldogs

Georgia’s annual spring game was a big day for recruiting, but one particular recruit — and his legendary father, Emmitt Smith — stole the show. Smith, a Florida Gators legend, was seen repping Georgia gear in Athens over the weekend as his son, 2020 running back EJ Smith, visited Georgia. Here’s the...
More Stories