Hawks fizzle out, Jazz coast to victory

The Atlanta Hawks were pushed on their backs by a surging Utah Jazz team, which has now won three straight games after coasting to a 120-95 victory on Monday night.

 

The Jazz dominated this contest throughout its duration, outperforming Atlanta in all the major statistical categories. Utah shot 61% from the field, the highest mark the Hawks have allowed this season. On the other side of the Ball, the Jazz’ defense made it a nightmare for the Hawks offense from the opening tip, never allowing them to gain the lead.

Jazz forward Derrick Favors posts up Hawks center Dwight Howard

Jazz’ All-Star swingman Gordon Hayward led all scorers with 30 points on 67% shooting (12 of 16), while point George Hill and power forward Derrick Favors added 22 and 20 points respectively.

 

After fighting back to make it a two-possession game by halftime (54-50), Atlanta’s offense went stagnant in the third quarter as Utah outscored them 37-23, on 16 of 20 shooting to break the game wide-open. Overall, the Jazz outscored Atlanta 66-45 in the second half.

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer reacts in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

When speaking f his team following the game, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer offered this, “’We gave up 61 percent and 120 points, that’s just not the defense we’re expecting. It’s not good enough.”

 

Point guard Dennis Schroder led all Hawks players in scoring with 21 points, while managing just two assists. Swingmen Tim Hardaway Jr. and power forward Paul Millsap each chipped in with 14 points, for a Hawks team that is 6-4 in its last 10 games.

 

The loss keeps Atlanta a half-game back of the Washington Wizards for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference standing, while the win keeps Utah in the fourth seed, three games up on the LA Clippers and three games behind the Houston Rockets for the third seed in the Western Conference standing.

 

The Hawks will look to bounce back when they travel to face the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, while The Jazz make a return to New Orleans to face the Pelicans on Wednesday

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