The Denver Nuggets (38-22) are coming off an energetic 105-103 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It wasn’t the Nuggets starters who carried them, but the bench. Three of the Nuggets bench players scored in double figures. Wilson Chandler tied a career-high with 35 points in 36 minutes off the bench. The starters only accounted for 34 of the team’s overall 105 points. Denver has shown this season that a strong bench can make all the difference in games and Friday night was no different.
Along with Chandler’s 35 points, Corey Brewer and Andre Miller both added 14 points off the bench. Ty Lawson cooled off a little bit, only scoring 11 points on 5-of-14 shooting. Even though he didn’t play great for most of the game, Lawson hit one of the biggest shots of his career, nailing a jumper from just inside the three-point line with the defender in his face. Forward Danilo Gallinari got the start after sitting out from a thigh bruise, and will likely get more minutes in Monday’s game.
The Nuggets will be welcoming in the Atlanta Hawks (33-24) to the Pepsi Center. After not being traded away, forward Josh Smith has averaged 17.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists since the trade deadline. The Hawks have won 4 of the last 5 behind Smith’s strong play. He only scored 4 points against the Suns in a losing effort. Al Horford will likely create an interesting match-up on the block when they take on the Nuggets. He’s averaging 24.8 points and 12.6 rebounds over his past five games.
The Nuggets are looking for their 11th straight home victory while the Hawks are looking to stay hot and move up in the East. Denver sits in the number five slot in the West while Atlanta sits in the number four spot in the East. Both teams will be playing hard and should be a great match-up.
Tip-off is set for Monday at 7:00 pm MT (9:00 pm ET) at the Pepsi Center in Denver.