Teague, Hawks drop Jazz to win third straight

Jeff Teague and the Hawks took over first place in the Eastern Conference with a win in Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY  — Jeff Teague scored 25 points, and the surging Atlanta Hawks beat the Utah Jazz 98-92 on Friday night.

The Hawks (24-8) have won three straight and 19 of 22. Paul Millsap had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Al Horford scored 13 points in Atlanta’s sixth consecutive win over a Western Conference opponent.

Gordon Hayward scored 18 points and reserve Dante Exum added 13 points for the Jazz. Utah (11-22) was swept in the season series against Atlanta for a second consecutive year.

The Jazz put together a 12-1 run to make the game close late in the fourth quarter. Hayward drilled a 3-pointer and drove for a layup on back-to-back possessions to help Utah close to 91-87 with 3:38 remaining.

But Carroll and Teague then had back-to-back jumpers to put the Hawks ahead 95-87 less than a minute later.

Atlanta used its stout defense to get off to a fast start. Utah did not make a basket for nearly 6 1/2 minutes in the first quarter, and the Hawks opened a 28-9 lead on Millsap’s 3-pointer with 3:41 remaining in the quarter.

But the Jazz battled back. Exum’s 3-pointer with 2:04 left sparked a 19-3 run that carried over to the second quarter. Seldom-used guard Ian Clark capped the lengthy spurt with a 3-pointer that trimmed Atlanta’s lead to 31-28.

The Hawks had a 46-42 lead when they scored on their final five possessions of the first half – capped by three unanswered baskets from Teague – to take a 57-45 lead into the locker room.

They increased the lead to 76-56 in the third on three free throws from Teague and Millsap after Joe Ingles got called for a shooting foul and technical foul.