ATLANTA — Center Pero Antic hit an off-balanced 3-pointer from the corner as the shot clock expired with 41.8 seconds remaining to spark the Atlanta Hawks to a 97-92 win over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.
Antic finished with 16 points, one shy of his career best, to help prevent Atlanta from blowing a 21-point second-half lead. Antic also had a crucial offensive rebound, his only one of the game, to help secure the win.
It was the third straight win for the Hawks, the first time that happened since Dec. 16-20. The win broke Atlanta’s two-game losing streak against Denver and ended the Nuggets’ two-game winning streak.
Atlanta (29-35) was led by forward Paul Millsap with 23 points and 10 rebounds, his 21st double-double of the year. Forward Kyle Korver was 4-for-4 on 3-pointers and scored 18 points and Teague had 15 points and 10 assists.
Denver (29-37) was led by forward Kenneth Faried with 25 points and seven rebounds. Forward Wilson Chandler added 12 points before fouling out.
Denver scored the first six points of the fourth period and tied the game at 77 on a driving layup by guard Aaron Brooks with 10:27 left. Denver took its first lead on forward Darrell Arthur’s free throw with 7:10 left. There were seven more lead changes before Antic gave Atlanta the lead for good.
Atlanta came out firing and connecting on 3-pointers to start the game. The Hawks hit four of their first five attempts and grabbed a 16-3 lead.
Atlanta finished the quarter 5-for-7 on treys and led 28-15, with forward Paul Millsap scoring 10 points. Denver shot only 26.1 percent from the field in the quarter and was held 11 points below its average.
The Nuggets began to click on offense in the second quarter and drew to 31-26 on back-to-back dunks by center JJ Hickson. But the Hawks put together an 11-2 run that included 3-pointers from forward DeMarre Carroll and center Pero Antic to finish the quarter and take a 53-37 lead into intermission.
It was the lowest first-half point total for the Nuggets this season.
Atlanta scored the first five points of the third quarter and upped its lead to 21, but the Nuggets responded with an 18-4 run and cut the lead to 62-55 on a 3-pointer by guard Randy Foye. Atlanta answered with a 9-1 run punctuated by a guard Dennis Shroder’s driving layup that make it 73-59 with 2:26 left, only to have Denver finish the quarter by scoring eight unanswered points, including guard Evan Fournier’s 3-pointer at the horn, to make it 77-71. Denver shot 75 percent (12-for-16) from the field in the quarter.
NOTES: Atlanta C Pero Antic has made a 3-pointer in nine straight games. … Atlanta G Lou Williams was dressed again on Saturday after missing Thursday’s game to be present for the birth of his daughter. … Denver’s win over Miami on Friday gave the team its first 2-0 sweep since the 2008-09 season. The Nuggets’ win over Miami marked the 10th time this season that they have come back from 10-plus points to win. … Injured and unavailable for Atlanta were Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder surgery), Al Horford (right pectoral muscle surgery) and John Jenkins (lower back surgery). Injured and unavailable for Denver were Danilo Gallinari (left knee ACL tear), JaVale McGee (left tibia stress fracture) and Nate Robinson (left ACL sprain). … Atlanta’s next game is Monday in Charlotte. Denver returns home to play the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.
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