Jackson keyed a fourth-quarter run and scored a season-high 25 points to lead the Hawks to their seventh straight victory over the Denver Nuggets, 84-76 Saturday night.
“I hate to say this now, but I’m starting to feel comfortable,” said Jackson, who joined the Hawks as a free agent after winning a championship with San Antonio last season. 3. “I am out there playing hard, I have figured out where I can get my shots, and what shots coach wants me to take on offense.”
Jackson scored seven points in a 13-2 run that gave Atlanta an 84-76 lead.
“I took it upon myself to come into this game real focused and play well on both ends,” Jackson said. “I knew that my wind would be short with this altitude, but I went out there and played hard.”
Shareef Abdur-Rahim added 17 points for Atlanta, which hasn’t lost to the Nuggets since Feb. 24, 2001. The win was only the third for the Hawks in their last 13 games.
Atlanta coach Terry Stotts was impressed with more than Jackson’s 11-for-24 shooting.
“Jackson made his shots, but defensively we didn’t let up, and Jackson was included in that,” Stotts said. “When you make shots, everybody notices that, but I would say we won this with good defensive effort.”
Carmelo Anthony led Denver with 26 points. The Nuggets managed only eight points in the fourth quarter on 4-for-21 shooting and lost for just the fifth time at home.
“We couldn’t make a shot and then we chose to double-team Rahim instead of Jackson,” Anthony said. “We should have double-teamed Jackson.”
Earl Boykins hit two jumpers to put the Nuggets ahead 72-71 early in the fourth quarter, but Glover’s two baskets and a jump shot by Jackson gave the Hawks a 79-72 lead.
Marcus Camby ended the run with dunk with 5:16 remaining, but Denver went scoreless on its next seven possessions and Atlanta pulled away as Jackson tipped in a miss by Abdur-Rahim and then buried a 3-pointer with 3:03 left to make it 84-74.
Anthony had four points as Denver opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run to move ahead 48-45, but Abdur-Rahim scored six points in an 8-0 run as the Hawks regained the lead, 53-48. Glover’s free throw enabled Atlanta to take a 69-68 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Hawks were up 20-16 after one quarter as Jackson had six points and Theo Ratliff blocked two shots.
Anthony closed Denver to 34-32 with a pair of free throws and a short jumper and Andre Miller tied it at 36 with a baseline jumper. The game was tied two more times before Jackson’s 3-pointer put Atlanta ahead 45-42 at halftime.
“We were destroyed, manhandled, push around, and bullied underneath on the boards,” Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “This was a replay of the Torontoloss.”
Atlanta played its third game in a six-game road trip. … Ratliff has blocked a shot in 26 consecutive games. … The Hawks are 5-15 on the road and have been outscored in the second quarter of six straight games. … Jason Terry was limited to seven minutes with flu-like symptoms. … Anthony has reached double figures in all but two games for the Nuggets. … The Nuggets lost to Atlanta 112-98 on Dec. 9 in Atlanta. … Denver is 6-6 on the secondnight of back-back games.