Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

ATLANTA -- Nene scored 20 points, J.R. Smith added all of his 15 in the fourth quarter, and the Denver Nuggets ran away to another win, beating the Atlanta Hawks 102-87 Wednesday night.

It looked as if the game would go down to the wire when Zaza Pachulia flipped in a putback, pulling the Hawks to 72-69 with just over 10 minutes remaining.

But Denver dominated the rest of the way, outscoring the home team 30-18. The Nuggets hardly missed in the fourth quarter, making 12 of 18 from the field -- including four 3-pointers.

Smith knocked down three of those, part of a 6-of-7 fourth quarter after he took only three shots -- and missed them all -- over the first three quarters.

The Nuggets improved to 9-2 since the blockbuster trade sending Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks.

Pachulia led the Hawks with 19 points off the bench, but the Hawks got little production out of their starters.

Josh Smith missed his first six attempts and finished with 13 points on 4-of-16 shooting. Joe Johnson struggled, too. One night after scoring 36 points against Milwaukee, he was held to 12 points by the Nuggets. The All-Star went 4 of 13 from the field after making six straight 3-pointers in a 25-point win over the Bucks. Denver is clearly having more fun since dealing Anthony, spreading the ball around and playing fierce defense. As the final seconds ticked off, coach George Karl broke into a sly grin watching another impressive performance by his remade team.