Hawks Closed Gap But Were Unable To Catch Jazz In Loss

ATLANTA — The Utah Jazz’s second decisive victory over the Atlanta Hawks gave them a seven-game winning streak against Eastern Conference teams and increased their lead over second-place Oklahoma City to 3 1/2 games in the Northwest Division.

Gordon Hayward, Utah’s representative in the All-Star Game, scored 30 points and the Jazz (33-19) shot 61.3 percent in the 120-95 victory over the Hawks on Monday night.

George Hill had 22 points and six assists for the Jazz, while Derrick Favors contributed a season-best 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Dennis Schroder scored 21 points for Atlanta (30-22).

Utah, which rolled to 95-68 at home in late November, recorded a season sweep over the Hawks for the first time in 10 years.

The Hawks, down by 17 points in the second quarter, were within 65-62 midway through the third quarter before the Jazz ran off 10 straight points to start a run that saw them take a 91-73 edge into the final quarter.

Utah led 29-21 after the first quarter and was up 40-23 early in the second quarter before Atlanta closed to within 54-50 at halftime.

Hayward had 15 of his 19 first-half points in the first eight minutes as the Jazz took a 27-14 lead, and also had five rebounds and four assists by intermission.

Schroder had nine of his 15 first-half points in the second quarter, while Paul Millsap scored seven of his 11.

Millsap finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. Malcolm Delaney had 13 points off the bench for the Hawks.

Rudy Gobert had 14 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots for the Jazz.

NOTES: Hawks G/F Thabo Sefolosha missed his fifth straight game because of a left groin strain. … Utah was without G Rodney Hood for a second game in a row. … He sprained his right knee on Wednesday against Milwaukee. … F Derrick Favors, who sat out two games last week to rest his troublesome left knee, got a start for the Jazz after playing 11 minutes off the bench on Saturday against Charlotte. … The 95-68 home victory by the Jazz on Nov. 25 was their second-largest margin of victory over Atlanta. The Hawks had just 25 points combined in the middle two quarters. … The Hawks conclude their three-game homestand by playing Denver on Wednesday, then have a three-game trip to the West Coast ahead of the All-Star Game. … Atlanta was the opening stop of a three-game swing for the Jazz, who are at New Orleans on Wednesday and at Dallas on Thursday.

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