Things got hairy at the end of the game, but the Denver Nuggets found a way to win to snap their three-game losing streak. The Nuggets defeated the Atlanta Hawks 129-122 in a really nice bounce back effort.

Jamal Murray led the way with 29 points, shooting 12-of-15 from the field and displaying a level of control for most of the game. Murray grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists, but it was his shotmaking and defense that really helped the Nuggets out. Murray shot 4-of-5 from three-point range and took advantage of all of the attention the Hawks were forced to pay to Nikola Jokic. He also turned up the intensity on the defensive end in the second half to really get the Nuggets rolling in the third quarter, his work against Dejounte Murray being the most notable. All that was missing for Murray was the ball security, as his turnovers and decisions at the end of the game left something to be desired. Still, it was nice to see Murray take charge out there and take some pressure off of Jokic.

Speaking of Joker, he had a strong, strong game himself. After struggling with his touch in the last two games, Jokic managed to score 25 points on 9-of-13 from the field. Jokic also hit his only three-point attempt and went 6-of-7 at the free throw line, a great sign for the Nuggets. Jokic also grabbed eight rebounds, dished eight assists, and accumulated three steals and two blocks. His defensive activity against the Hawks was mostly excellent throughout the evening, helping protect the rim tonight in a way he can struggle against a team like the Hawks.

Of course, the Hawks didn’t make this a game with shots at the rim. It was as close as a four-point game in the closing seconds due to elite three-point shooting from Atlanta and Bogdan Bogdanovic specifically. The Serbian sharpshooter had an absurd 40 points off the bench, hitting 10-of-17 three-pointers. He helped the Hawks hold on by a thread and was nearly unstoppable out there. Fortunately, the game ended after 48 minutes, because if it had been 50 minutes, Bogdanovic might have won it by the end.

It might have helped the Hawks if they had Trae Young, who was ejected from the contest at the end of the third quarter arguing what was seemingly good defense by Peyton Watson on a missed layup. Young took exception, incurring two technical fouls with one Quin Snyder technical snuck in between. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit 2-of-3 technical free throws, points that ended up being very important at the end of the contest.

Still, the Nuggets survived, and they did so with the help of a sharpshooter off the bench of their own. Julian Strawther brought the Nuggets back in this game, giving the Nuggets reserves a jolt of energy by making his first four three-pointers. Strawther both shot off of standstill actions and movement actions, taking and making some difficult shots on the way to a career high 22 points in 28 minutes. Strawther ultimately cooled off by the end of the game, but he made 8-of-16 shots from the field and 6-of-11 from three, doing a fantastic Michael Porter Jr. impression as the sharpshooter spacing the floor for Denver’s primary actions.

Porter himself struggled on the evening with just three points on 1-of-11 from the field in 26 minutes. It simply wasn’t his night, but after so many great nights these past few weeks, it can certainly be forgiven in a winning effort.

Somebody else who picked up the slack for Porter was Aaron Gordon, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds, grabbing seven offensive boards in a strong complementary performance for Denver’s scorers. Gordon worked the glass, played hard, hit shots around the rim, and even made 3-of-4 free throws. It wasn’t the best performance of his career, but like Murray and Jokic, it was a nice step back to being the best version of himself. Soon, Gordon will be hitting jump shots again, and then the Nuggets will really be cooking.

This was a good win for the Nuggets. It may not have felt great by the end, but any road win is a good win, and the Nuggets just needed to break the losing streak. Making it look pretty is a task for January and February. For now, the Nuggets will go to Chicago and play the Bulls tomorrow night.

Final Rotations