Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Ty Lawson poured in a team-high 23 points to go with seven rebounds and eight assists to help Denver secure its first win and hold off the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.
Lawson banked home a three with 58.8 seconds left to put the Nuggets up 107-102.
The Hawks responded with a quick Jeff Teague jumper three seconds later to make it a three-point game.
Lawson then got tied up with Paul Millsap, and the Hawks controlled the tip. Millsap was fouled while attempting a close turnaround jumper, and converted on the subsequent free throws to pull Atlanta within 107-106 with just over 26 ticks remaining.
Atlanta was forced to foul Lawson, who missed the first free throw, but was able to convert the next for a 108-106 edge.
The Hawks went to Al Horford, who couldn't get his tough layup to go, but Millsap was fouled on the rebound.
Millsap's first free throw rimmed out, but he drained the second to cut it to 108-107 with just eight seconds left.
After a timeout advanced the ball past half court, the Hawks quickly fouled Nate Robinson, who sunk the first free throw, but missed his second to give Atlanta a chance to tie or win the game.
Millsap took the ball on the left block and fired a step-back jumper that rimmed out. Horford was there for the rebound, but couldn't get his shot to go at the buzzer and Denver held on for their first win of the season.
"I had a smaller guy on me so I figured I could shoot over the top of him," said Millsap. "I knew it would be difficult to get to the basket. I settled for my step-back jump shot. I felt like it was a good shot, it didn't go in."
Robinson scored 15 points off the bench while JaVale McGee and Randy Foye finished with 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Nuggets, who shot 56 percent from beyond the arc (14-for-25).
"Nothing is going to be easy with this team, every night it's going to be a dog fight," Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw said. "We almost did everything in our power to not win it."
Millsap poured in a game-high 29 points to go with 10 rebounds and five assists and Horford finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Hawks, who have dropped two of their last three games.
After playing to a 26-26 deadlock over the first 12 minutes, the Nuggets were able to grab a 54-51 edge at the break.
Denver pushed their lead to 72-67 near the midway point of the third, but the Hawks shot their way back in it, and briefly took a 76-75 lead. The teams traded blows the rest of the way and went into the final frame tied at 83-83.
Lawson has scored at least 20 points in four straight games ... Denver avoided its first 0-4 start since 1998-99 ... The Nuggets had dropped their first two home games of the season after closing the 2012-13 campaign on a 23-game winning streak ... Hawks rookie Dennis Schroder served a one-game suspension for striking Kings center DeMarcus Cousins in the groin on Tuesday ... Kyle Korver scored 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the setback.