The Hawks were coming off a 103-83 loss to Charlotte on Friday night.
"It's a big statement. Having a letdown loss last night, and being able to come in and beat the number two or three team last year in the Western Conference. That's a big boost of confidence," said Smith, 8 of 10 from the field and 6 of 8 from the line.
"I had opportunities to succeed and I seized the moment. I have wonderful guys to pass the ball to and I was really looking to crash the boards."
The Hawks had a season-high 125 points and 30 assists.
"It's big, more mentally than anything else," Crawford said. "We had tough loss against Charlotte last night, and we beat a tough Denver team. We didn't lay down, and we fought. From start to finish, I thought we were really good as a team."
Carmelo Anthony had 30 points for Denver and Chauncey Billups added 25. The Nuggets lost their second straight after winning their first five. Anthony was 7 of 21 from the field and 15 of 18 from the line.
"We didn't have enough energy. We never did get a grip," Denver coach George Karl said. "Crawford played great. Joe Johnson did a good job. Josh Smith had an incredible game. We didn't respect his shot blocking. We needed an 'A' game from a lot of guys, and we didn't get it."
The Hawks scored the first 10 points of the second half to make it 70-50. Denver never got closer than 12 points, at 90-78 less than a minute into the final quarter.
The Hawks shot 52 percent, hitting 45 of 87 shots, including 8 of 19 3s. Bibby was 3 of 4 from 3-point range.
Both teams were coming off Friday night losses. The Hawks lost 103-83 at Charlotte, and the Nuggets fell 96-88 at Miami.
- The Nuggets were without forward Kenyon Martin. He injured his leg Friday night.
- Karl is still seeking win No. 939 to pass Red Auerbach for eighth place on the career victory list.