For a while, tonight's Hawks-Jazz game looked like a repeat of many Hawks games over the past month: Take an early lead, choke it away in the third quarter, and listlessly go down to defeat.
Thankfully, the Hawks decided to alter the script, and found some new energy in holding off Utah, 112-110
While Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll were the most talked-about former Jazz players returning to Utah for tonight's game, it was the other former Jazz player, Kyle Korver, that led the Hawks to the victory. Korver had 26 points, including four three-pointers, to keep the Hawks ahead and carry them down the stretch.
Millsap finished with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Carroll had 11 points and six rebounds. Jeff Teague's shooting struggles continued, making just 3 of 10 shots, but his two free throws with five seconds left ended up clinching the win.
Former Hawk Marvin Williams had 18 points, six rebounds, and two steals for Utah. PG Trey Burke led Utah with 23 points.
Atlanta escaped with the win after leading by as many as 12 points. They briefly fell behind, on the heels of another cold shooting streak in the third quarter and getting out-rebounded 45-34 on the night, and trailed 96-93 with 3:47 to go. However, Korver, Millsap, and Carroll scored the Hawks' next 12 points to keep the Hawks alive.
Even with a 1-4 road trip and just their second win in 16 games, the Hawks did manage to shore up their playoff position. With a loss by Detroit, the Hawks increased their lead to 3.5 games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference over the Pistons and, now, the Knicks.
The Hawks return home to face the Milwaukee Bucks - and former Hawks coach Larry Drew - on Thursday night.