It took 16 years for the Denver Nuggets to end a road losing streak in Atlanta. Two weeks later, they have a chance to add to the Hawks’ own road woes.
The Nuggets try to sweep this season series for the first time in 16 years and hand the Hawks their 20th consecutive road loss.
Carmelo Anthony’s jump shot with nine-tenths of a second to play broke a tie and gave the Nuggets their first victory in Atlanta since 1988, 100-96 on Feb. 15.
Denver, which had lost 14 straight in Atlanta, can sweep the Hawks for the first time since winning both meetings in the 1988-89 season.
The Hawks are hoping to end their own problems on the road. Atlanta has dropped 19 in a row away from home since beating the defending champion Detroit Pistons 88-72 on Dec. 10.
Atlanta is 2-26 on the road, with the only other victory coming on Nov. 12 in New Orleans. The Hawks’ longest road losing streak during one season was in 1995-96, when they dropped their final 21. The franchise record for consecutive road losses is 29, set from Jan. 28-Nov. 26, 1976.
“That is not important to me. What is important is seeing these guys improve,” Hawks first-year coach Mike Woodson said. “They have come a long way—especially the young kids.”
Denver has won three straight and is 10-4 since coach George Karl took over for Jeff Bzdelik, who was fired Dec. 28.
The Nuggets, who were on the road in seven of their last eight games, play 10 of their next 12 at home.
“In basketball, you can win a lot of ways and we’re showing that,” Karl said. “We’re in a great position to have a great homestand. If we win 80 percent of the homestand, come April we’ll be in the hunt.”
Denver dominated the final 10 minutes to erase an 11-point deficit and beat the Hornets 94-93 on Sunday.
Anthony scored 17 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter. Marcus Camby had three of his seven blocks, three of his 10 rebounds and a steal during that final 10-minute stretch. Camby’s fourth rebound, which came in the first half, gave him 4,000 for his career.
Atlanta has lost eight straight overall.
Atlanta has allowed 100 or more points in nine straight games, its longest such streak since a 14-game stretch from Feb. 24-March 9, 1993.
Tom Gugliotta played 22 minutes in his Atlanta debut and scored two points. Gugliotta is playing for his seventh team in 13 NBA seasons, following the trade that sent him, Gary Payton and Michael Stewart to Atlanta for Antoine Walker.
Payton is waiting for his contract to be bought out so he can join another team, preferably by Tuesday, the deadline for a player to be eligible for a playoff roster.