November 16, 2018 / 4:49 AM / 4 months ago

Nuggets end skid, manhandle hapless Hawks

EditorsNote: rewords third graf

Juancho Hernangomez scored a season-high 25 points, Paul Millsap had 18 points and nine rebounds against his former team, and the host Denver Nuggets routed the Atlanta Hawks 138-93 on Thursday night.

Gary Harris also scored 18 points, and Nikola Jokic had 12 points and nine rebounds to help Denver end a four-game losing streak.

The Nuggets had seven players score in double figures while posting their biggest winning margin this season.

Jeremy Lin scored 16 points and Kent Bazemore had 14 for Atlanta. The Hawks have lost six in a row and 10 of their past 11. They had won three straight in Denver before Thursday.

Atlanta rookie Trae Young struggled to score for the second straight game. He had four points against Golden State on Tuesday and six on Thursday.

Denver coach Michael Malone shook up his starting lineup for the second time in three games, inserting Monte Morris at point guard and bringing Jamal Murray off the bench. Morris, who led the Nuggets with 19 points in a Tuesday loss to the Houston Rockets, had eight points and two assists in 29 minutes. Murray scored 14 points.

Denver had struggled with slow starts but came out strong against Atlanta. The Nuggets scored the first 13 points and didn’t allow the Hawks their first points until there was 7:29 left in the first quarter.

The lead grew to 25-8 on a Jokic layup, and Denver closed the quarter leading 35-23.

Atlanta got within 10 on two free throws by Young midway through the second quarter, but the Nuggets quickly extended the lead. Murray hit a step-back 3-pointer with 56 seconds left in the period to give Denver a 20-point lead, its biggest of the half.

The Nuggets put it away in the third period. A 25-6 run during the quarter pushed the edge to 35. Four free throws to end the third gave Denver a 109-73 lead.

Denver scored 35 or more points in each of the first three quarters. The Nuggets led by as many as 46 in scoring a season high.

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