Hawks start strong, hold off Nuggets 117-106

Dennis Schroder had 24 points and 10 assists, and the Atlanta Hawks held off a late rally by Denver to beat the Nuggets 117-106 on Wednesday night.

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By Charles Odum, Associated Press

ATLANTA — Dennis Schroder had 24 points and 10 assists, and the Atlanta Hawks held off a late rally by Denver to beat the Nuggets 117-106 on Wednesday night.

The Hawks never trailed and scored a season-high 72 points in the first half. The Nuggets cut Atlanta’s lead to 109-105 on a basket by Gary Harris with less than three minutes remaining.

Following a turnover by Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore, Denver couldn’t take advantage of the chance to pull closer. A three-point play by Paul Millsap, who had 23 points, pushed the lead back to seven points with 1:47 remaining. Schroder made two free throws for a 114-105 lead.

Wilson Chandler led Denver with 24 points.

Denver forward Kenneth Faried left after spraining his right ankle early in the second quarter. He needed assistance leaving the court. The team said X-rays were negative.

Atlanta enjoyed a strong recovery from Monday night’s 120-95 loss to Utah — the team’s fourth defeat by at least 23 points in its last 11 games. Coach Mike Budenholzer expressed concern about the frequency of the lopsided losses.

The Hawks regrouped with their best offensive half of the season, setting season highs for points in a first quarter (39) and any half while taking a 72-55 halftime lead.

Nikola Jokic had 18 points and 15 rebounds for Denver. Will Barton had 17 points and seven assists.

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