Jokic's triple-double leads Nuggets past Hawks 105-96

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DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 22 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists in his return from a one-game suspension for his second triple-double of the season, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 105-96 win over the struggling Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

Jokic, the reigning NBA MVP, served the ban for his late-game shove of Markieff Morris in Denver’s win over Miami on Monday. Morris was fined for his role in the exchange of hard fouls.

Aaron Gordon had 23 points, Jeff Green scored 16 and Bones Hyland added 15, including two key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter for Denver, which has won the first four on its five-game homestand.

Trae Young scored 30 points to lead the Hawks, who lost their sixth straight. John Collins had 26 points and Clint Capela added 14 points with 13 rebounds.

Leading by two, the Nuggets put together a 13-2 run that included a pair of 3-pointers by P.J. Dozier and a dunk by Jokic to move in front 78-65 with 1:16 left in the third quarter and headed into the fourth quarter with a 10-point advantage.

Capela’s dunk pulled the Hawks to 88-79 with 7:48 remaining but the Nuggets answered with successive 3-pointers from Hyland, the first off a feed from Jokic, to push their lead to 15 points. Denver maintained a double-digit lead until the final moments of the game.

The Hawks began the second quarter with a 13-2 run to go in front 38-34. Denver came back to lead 49-46 at halftime, regaining the advantage on consecutive dunks by Gordon and Green.

TIP-INS

Hawks: Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle soreness) and De’Andre Hunter (right wrist soreness) were both back on the court after missing Tuesday night’s game at Utah.

Nuggets: Michael Porter Jr. missed a third successive game because of low back pain. He was injured last Saturday against Houston, limping off the floor after missing a breakaway layup. No timetable has been given for his return.

UP NEXT

Hawks: Return home to host Milwaukee on Sunday night.

Nuggets: Close out a five-game homestand Sunday night against Portland.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Dennis Georgatos, The Associated Press

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