Going into this game, we knew the Nuggets had the second-best defense in the league. But the Hawks inability to hit open shots cost them the game. Despite their bevy of shooters, the Hawks shot a putrid 5-28 (17.9%) from deep.
De'Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, Danilo Gallinari, and Gorgui Dieng all scored just 2 points each. To be fair, Hunter exited the game early when he irritated his already-sore wrist. Hawks coach Nate McMillan pulled him after Hunter said it didn't feel right after a shot attempt in the third quarter.
Following the game, McMillan said, "We had some open looks. We had them in scramble situations but couldn't knock down shots. When it comes to the fourth quarter, there are some timely possessions that you need to score - we didn't, and they did."
After losing six straight games, McMillan knows the team has their work cut out for them. "We got to go home and make up some ground. It's as simple as that. We knew that the road was going to be tough, and we weren't able to get a win here. We'll go home, we'll have a couple of home games, and we have to make up some ground and take care of business at home."
The big three of Trae Young, John Collins, and Clint Capela all had impressive performances. Collins got big minutes thanks to opponents trying to play smaller against the Hawks. McMillan put Collins at the five and Gallinari at four. "I thought it was pretty good. We played that lineup last year... I feel like we could spread the floor with that unit. Tonight we tried to take advantage of spreading the floor."
Finally, this road trip ends. The Hawks can go home for the first time in over ten days. They have Saturday off before hosting the defending champs Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday and the Orlando Magic on Monday. Stay tuned to AllHawks.com for breaking news and analysis.
Hawks Stats Leaders
Trae Young - 30 PTS, 9 AST
John Collins - 26 PTS, 9 REB
Clint Capela - 14 PTS, 12 REB
Nuggets Stats Leaders
Aaron Gordon - 23 PTS, 3 BLK
Nikola Jokic - 22 PTS, 19 REB, 10 AST
Jeff Green - 16 PTS, 4 REB