Denver Nuggets

Aaron Gordon starts and impresses in Nuggets debut as team makes light work of surging Hawks

(NBA Getty Images)

A couple of days after the mid-season trade deadline, Aaron Gordon was ready for his Nuggets debut at Ball Arena in Denver.

Part of the starting line-up, the 6'8" forward impressed in his limited minutes as he finished with 13 points in 20 minutes on 6-of-9 shooting from the field.

"There's not a lot of guys that can do what Aaron Gordon does," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said postgame.

Gordon was one of six Denver players in double-figure scoring, as the hosts pulled away from the Hawks in the middle two quarters where they outscored them 66-44.

Leading by as many as 33, the Nuggets were powered by league MVP candidate Nikola Jokic, who finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, and two blocks. New man Gordon was not short on praise for the Serbian center.

"His [Jokic] IQ is just through the roof," Gordon said in his on-court postgame interview.

"The main thing and the best thing he did is accept the role," Jokic said of Gordon postgame.

Denver will look to build on this chemistry as they are set to play six of their next seven games at home with their lone road game in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

"That was a fun game for us ... We played for each other. When we do that, we're a fun team to watch," coach Malone said postgame.

The Nuggets improve to 28-18, tied with the Portland Trai Blazers for the fifth seed in the West, but just 3.5 games behind the second-seeded Phoenix Suns. With their strength of schedule ranking at 15 for the rest of the way, watch out for the Nuggets to rise up the standings especially if they find their groove with Gordon in their rotation.

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