So much for home sweet home. With their six-game road trip in the rearview mirror, the Utah Jazz were looking forward to their return to the EnergySolutions Arena for a spell. Despite some very nice extended spurts that earned it the lead, Utah could not counter the Atlanta Hawks in the end. The Hawks escaped with a narrow 112-110 victory.
It was a game comprised of runs for both teams. The first half belonged to Atlanta as it put on an offensive showcase. After a solid first quarter, the Hawks did even better in the second, carrying a big 59-44 lead into halftime. The tide turned quickly as Utah countered with an energetic, potent third quarter. The final quarter ebbed and flowed as Atlanta did what it needed to by creating a big enough buffer to negate some last-minute heroics from Utah’s Trey Burke.
In a rare occurrence, all 10 starters scored in double figures. Both squads shot nearly 49 percent from the floor and were very even from the free throw line. It was Atlanta’s torrid 3-point shooting that proved to be the difference as the Hawks made three more triples.
Former Jazzmen: With three former Jazz players on the roster, the Hawks had a built-in familiarity with EnergySolutions Arena. On Monday, it really showed as the trio each had big roles in Atlanta’s victory.
In his first-ever visit to Salt Lake City in a non-Jazz jersey, All-Star forward Paul Millsap reminded all of what made him a big favorite among the Utah fan base. He displayed his usual offensive variety, scoring both inside and on the perimeter. He tallied 23 points, eight rebounds and three assists — all near his season averages.
Sharpshooter Kyle Korver exhibited his usual stellar shooting. Time and time again, his movement without the ball earned him easy looks at the basket and he repeatedly capitalized. Korver connected on eight of 12 shots, including a perfect four of four from beyond the arc. He ended with a game-high 26 points.
Last but not least, ever-hustling forward DeMarre Carroll put up 11 points (three trifectas), six rebounds and four assists.
Odds and ends:
— After playing four scoreless minutes to start the second quarter, the Hawks put up 31 points during the final eight.
— Of the seven players who scored in double-figures, five shot 50 percent or better from the field.
— Burke had one of his better shooting nights. The rookie point guard paced Utah with 23 points, including a pair of late 3-pointers that kept things interesting at the end.
— With 30 assists and just 12 turnovers, Atlanta enjoyed a 2.50 assist/turnover ratio.
David Smith provides instant analysis for Deseret News' Utah Jazz coverage. He works for LDS Philanthropies and also writes for Salt City Hoops (ESPN's Jazz affiliate). He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at davidjsmith1232.
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