Newcomers Raymond Felton and Wilson Chandler combined to score 31 points last night, helping host Denver rally for a 100-90 win over the Atlanta Hawks for the Nuggets’ third win in four games since the deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York.
Felton had 16 points and Chandler added 15 as the Nuggets used an 8-0 surge early in the fourth quarter to pull away from the road-weary Hawks.
J.R. Smith put the finishing touches on the win as he tipped in an alley-oop pass from Felton with 1:34 remaining to give the Nuggets a 10-point lead.
Smith scored a team-high 19 points, and Kenyon Martin contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds as they picked up the slack in the absence of Danilo Gallinari, who sat out after stubbing his left big toe at Portland Friday.
Joe Johnson finished with 22 points and Al Horford added 21 points and 16 rebounds for the Hawks, who wrapped up a seven-game road swing with a 3-4 mark.
Atlanta played the second half without Josh Smith after he injured his right knee. He finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
Although the Hawks played the night before, they stayed with the Nuggets until they ran out of steam in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets used a 16-7 run to seal the win.
The Hawks were without guard Kirk Hinrich, who was scratched just before tipoff because of a sore right calf.
With Gallinari out, coach George Karl had to get creative with his lineup, going with four guards at times. But what the Nuggets relied on most was stellar defense, including Felton drawing a key charge late in the game.
Karl said Gallinari’s toe remains tender, but he expected the 22-year-old forward back tomorrow against Charlotte.
Bulls 105, Wizards 77 — Luol Deng and Derrick Rose scored 21 points apiece, Joakim Noah had 19, and Chicago moved within a game of the Miami Heat for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls never trailed as they won their third straight and seventh in eight games. Rose drew some oohs and aahs with a backward, between-the-legs pass to Noah for a fast-break dunk, and Deng was already walking to the locker room before his 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer from the corner swished through the net to give Chicago a 13-point lead.
By the fourth quarter, the Bulls were having loads of fun. Rose fed Deng and Noah for back-to-back dunks that pushed the lead to 24 with 2 1/2 minutes to play, and then the reserves came in, with the Chicago fans saving the biggest roar for Brian Scalabrine’s garbage-time jumper.
Rose also had nine assists, Noah pulled down 11 rebounds, and Carlos Boozer had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls (41-17).
Kings 105, Clippers 99 — Marcus Thornton scored 16 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to help rally host Sacramento over Los Angeles.
It was an emotional night at Arco Arena. Amid rumors the team is moving to Anaheim, Kings fans organized a “Here We Stay’’ campaign to help keep the team in Sacramento, where they have been since 1985.
A sellout crowd, only the second of the season, began to chant “Here we stay’’ during player introductions, but did not repeat it as often as expected throughout the rest of a tightly contested game.
Blake Griffin had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who lost their fifth straight and eighth in nine games. Randy Foye scored 23 points, newly acquired Mo Williams had 16, and Chris Kaman 12.
Beno Udrih had 19 points and seven assists for the Kings, who outscored the Clippers, 27-16, in the fourth quarter. Omri Casspi had 15 points and eight rebounds and Jason Thompson added 10 points.
Slumping rookie DeMarcus Cousins had just 5 points and nine rebounds in a reserve role.
Suns 104, Nets 103 — Channing Frye hit a 3-pointer with 6.6 seconds left in overtime and Phoenix spoiled Deron Williams’s home debut for New Jersey.
The Nets narrowly missed pulling this one out, but Kris Humphries’s’ tip-in of Williams’s floater came a split second after the final buzzer. A review showed the ball on his right hand with the clock showing zeros.