High-scoring Hawks roll past Jazz, 118-85
The Atlanta Hawks are slowly picking up the ball-movement
lessons Mike Budenholzer learned as a longtime assistant with the
Those lessons were more than enough to overwhelm the Utah
Lou Williams scored 25 points and the Hawks continued their
offensive upswing as they rolled to an easy 118-85 victory over the
Jazz on Friday night, winning their third straight and for the
fourth time in five games.
The Hawks had 32 assists, adding to their NBA lead and bringing
a smile to the face of their first-year coach.
”It’s an indication they’re just getting a better and better
understanding of the ball movement and how we want to play,”
Budenholzer said. ”Passing and hitting the open guy just becomes
something that’s expected.”
Atlanta set a scoring high with its 124-107 win over Sacramento
on Wednesday night and has topped 110 points in three straight
Al Horford, who had 23 points, has been a key in the recent
flurry of high-scoring games. He has averaged 23.6 points in his
last five games.
Williams, who has played in only 14 games in his return from
knee surgery, took extra shooting practice after scoring only two
points in 20 minutes in Wednesday night’s win over Sacramento.
”I’m glad it paid off,” Williams said. ”It was one of the
nights we had everything clicking.”
The Hawks never trailed and pushed their lead to double digits
for good in the opening period. They kept up the pressure,
outscoring Utah in every period and making 52.3 percent of their
shots (45 of 86) from the field.
Budenholzer said the most encouraging sign was ”not so much
putting them away, but just continuing to play the way we play,
just doing the things we did to establish a lead. Tonight was a
step forward in that direction.”
Jeff Teague had nine points and eight assists.
Horford was resting when the Hawks took an 85-58 lead into the
”Our energy was the difference,” Horford said.
The Jazz agreed.
”It’s a mental thing,” said Utah’s Derrick Favors. ”We’ve
just got to come out with the energy and the attitude like they had
against us tonight.”
It was a letdown for Utah coach Tyrone Corbin following a win at
Orlando on Wednesday night.
”I thought we didn’t come out with the sense of urgency we’d
been seeing,” Corbin said. ”I thought we’d turned the corner, I
felt like, the way we played in Orlando the other night. I was
looking for that effort. We just didn’t have it from the beginning
Enes Kanter had 13 points and 13 rebounds for Utah (7-22). Alec
Burks also had 13 points. Trey Burke, who scored a career-high 30
points against Orlando, made only 1 of 8 shots for two points.
Atlanta’s Paul Millsap had 14 points and 10 rebounds against his
former Utah teammates.
The Hawks took their largest halftime lead of the season,
pulling ahead by 21 points to lead 55-34 at the break. Horford had
14 points in the half.
Kyle Korver extended his NBA record by making a 3-pointer in his
96th consecutive game. His made the first of his two 3s with 4:24
remaining in the first period.
Utah had a scare midway through the third quarter when Gordon
Hayward was slow to return to his feet following a collision with
Teague as the two were reaching for a loose ball. Hayward remained
in the game following a timeout and finished with 11 points.
Jeremy Evans, the 2012 slam-dunk competition champion, missed a
dunk and then landed hard on his back with 7:53 remaining, giving
the Jazz another scare. Following a brief delay, Evans remained in
the game and had 10 points.
NOTES: The Jazz are 0-11 on the road and 1-13 overall when
trailing at halftime. … Atlanta leads the NBA with its average of
25.3 assists per game. … Hawks G Cartier Martin (sprained left
ankle) and F Gustavo Ayon (left ankle) have missed five straight
games. … Williams was 6 of 10 from 3-point range.