The Denver Nuggets managed to halt their three-game losing streak, overcoming the Atlanta Hawks in a 129-122 victory. Jamal Murray led the charge for Denver with an impressive 29 points, while two-time MVP Nikola Jokic found his rhythm, contributing 25 points to the team's win.
Despite facing a formidable challenge from the Hawks, who were fueled by Bogdan Bogdanovic's career-high 40 points and remarkable 10 3-pointers, the Nuggets maintained their composure. Even as Atlanta narrowed the gap to 126-122 in the final minute, Denver's defense stood firm, staving off the comeback attempt.
Stellar Performances and Heated Moments
Jokic, reflecting on the game's intense moments, acknowledged the team's panic but emphasized the importance of their victory. His reunion with former Serbian national teammate Bogdanovic was a highlight, with Jokic expressing joy at seeing Bogdanovic play without the hindrance of knee injuries.
"I think this is the first time in a long time he really moves normally and doesn't have any pains,” Jokic noted, recalling Bogdanovic's days of seemingly effortless scoring.Denver's rookie Julian Strawther also made headlines, scoring a career-high 22 points and leading the game with five steals.
Aaron Gordon added a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, bolstering Denver's performance. The game wasn't without its drama, as Murray suffered a rolled ankle but bravely continued, contributing nine rebounds. The Hawks faced their own challenges when star player Trae Young was ejected after accruing two technical fouls for protesting a no-call.
Coach Quin Snyder, who also received a technical foul, praised his team's resilience and focus despite the adversities. Jokic’s efficient shooting (9 of 13 from the field) was a significant turnaround from his last two games, further solidifying his status as one of the league's top players.
The Hawks, on the other hand, were without forward Jalen Johnson due to a fractured wrist, and De'Andre Hunter was sidelined with a quad injury. Garrison Mathews stepped in for Hunter, marking his first start of the season.