Denver point guard Emmanuel Mudiay proved his fearlessness last year by forgoing college ball to play overseas in China as a fresh-faced, 18-year-old kid.
The No. 7 overall pick showed he wasn't afraid to put up shots, either, on Friday afternoon in his NBA debut.
Mudiay went 5-for-15 from the field and scored 11 points in three quarters of work to help the Denver Nuggets to an 86-71 win over the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Mudiay, a consensus top-five recruit in the nation out of high school, also had five rebounds and four assists despite sitting the entire fourth quarter. The former SMU commit did, however, finish with two turnovers and was 0-for-4 from the 3-point line.
Gary Harris, who was selected 19th overall in the 2014 draft by the Chicago Bulls but later traded to Denver, scored a team-high 15 points. The Michigan State alum shot 6-for-11 from the field and added four rebounds and three assists for the Nuggets, who led 43-36 at halftime.
Atlanta forward Lamar Patterson led all scorers with 16 points on 5 of 7 shooting. He added four rebounds and three assists in only 19 minutes
Brandon Ashley, who joined the Hawks after going undrafted out of Arizona, added 15 points and five rebounds for Atlanta, which got 11 points from former Nebraska standout Terran Petteway.
Two second-round picks from the 2013 draft supplied big contributions to help the Nuggets get an opening-day win. Guard Erick Green (Virginia Tech), the 46th pick to the Grizzlies, and forward Jamaal Franklin (San Diego State), the 41st pick to the Jazz, scored 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Green also contributed four assists, and Franklin added three steals for Denver, which finished 33 of 70 (47.1 percent) from the field and 18-for-20 (90.0 percent) from the free-throw line. At one point, the Nuggets led by as many as 21 points.
Atlanta, which traded its first-round pick to acquire Tim Hardaway Jr. from the Knicks, went 29-for-70 (41.4 percent) from the field. The Hawks did outrebound the Nuggets, 37-28, but only shot 6 of 22 (27.3 percent) from long distance.
Both teams will return on Sunday, with Denver taking on the Sacramento Kings at 5 p.m. and Atlanta facing the Golden State Warriors at 5:30 p.m.