By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Nikola Jokic recorded a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds, Will Barton and Gary Harris each scored 18 points and the Denver Nuggets beat Atlanta 105-100 on Friday night in the Hawks’ home opener.
Emmanuel Mudiay had 16 points for Denver (2-3). It was the Nuggets’ first win in Atlanta in six years.
Jokic, the third-year center from Serbia, helped Denver overcome Atlanta’s 14 3-pointers.
Paul Millsap, the former four-time All-Star for the Hawks, had 16 points and six rebounds for Denver in his return to Atlanta.
Dennis Schroder, back in the lineup after missing two games with a sprained left ankle, led Atlanta with 20 points.
Schroder’s steal and layup cut Denver’s lead to 101-98 with 1:22 remaining. Jokic answered with a jumper.
The Hawks (1-5) have lost five straight since opening the season with a win at Dallas.
Taurean Prince had 19 points and Dewayne Dedmon had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta.
A basket by Jokic gave Denver an 83-75 fourth-quarter lead before the Hawks closed the gap to 85-83 with the help of 3-pointers from Kent Bazemore and Marco Belinelli. The Nuggets regrouped with six straight points, including two layups by Barton, to push the lead back to eight points.
Denver led 53-52 at halftime despite Atlanta’s big edge on 3-point shooting. The Hawks made 8 of 17 3-point attempts while the Nuggets made only 3 of 11.
The Hawks gave Millsap a video tribute during a first-quarter timeout and fans responded with an ovation. Millsap smiled and waved to the fans.
Nuggets: Denver’s last win in Atlanta was March 16, 2011. … Coach Michael Malone said he didn’t worry about Millsap controlling his emotions in his Atlanta homecoming. “I respect Paul’s experiences and his maturity as a veteran,” Malone said. “He knows how to hold his own emotions.” … Jamal Murray was initially credited with making a 3-point shot from the corner before the buzzer sounded to end the first quarter. Following a video review, officials ruled time expired before the shot. … Jokic has recorded double-doubles in back-to-back games, his first two of the season.
Hawks: Belinelli made five 3s for 15 points. … A huge “Coming Soon” banner covered what was a wall of luxury suites as the $192.5 million renovation of Philips Arena, which began this offseason, is scheduled to be completed following the season. Capacity is down from 18,047 to 15,711 for this season. … The scoreboards did not work for much of the third quarter. … Ersan Ilyasova started in his return after missing two games with a left knee strain.
Nuggets: Visit the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night as Denver continues its four-game trip.
Hawks: Host Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon.