Friday night proved to be a successful end to the three game home-stand for the Atlanta Hawks as they dominated the Utah Jazz from start to finish and ran out winners by 118-85. The thirty-three point margin of victory was the Hawks largest of the year and their first wire-to-wire win of the season. The home-stand provided the Hawks with three victories with wins over the Lakers and the Kings in addition to Friday night's win.
The game's outcome was almost never in doubt, even from the opening tip off. After the game was tied at 4-4 the Hawks took the lead for the last time and never looked back.
The first quarter saw the Hawks up by fourteen points at 30-16 on 50 percent shooting from the field while the Utah Jazz were pretty dismal shooting only 26 percent.
The second quarter was much more evenly matched with both teams at about 41 percent although the Hawks managed to extend their lead to go in at the half leading by 21 points.
Al Horford was the Hawks leading scorer in the first half with 14 points but Lou Williams supported him with 11 points off the bench.
Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer was happy with his team. "I liked the mentality and the focus our group came out with tonight," but recognized that the Jazz were not at their best, "It was one of those nights where they just couldn't make a shot and we were fortunate in that sense."
The second half provided more of the same with the Hawks out running, out shooting and out scoring the Jazz. the Al Horford and Lou Williams show continued with Williams taking the leading role with 14 points to finish with 25 points on the night, leading all scorers. Horford added nine points to finish with 23 points.
Williams was pretty modest about his performance, “I just made shots. I talked myself into making shots. I had a lot more confidence.”
While the Hawks offense was solid the defense was also outstanding. Outstanding defense coupled with some poor Jazz shot selection resulting in a 37 percent shot success rate meant the Jazz were never likely to be in the game especially compared to the Hawks who shot 52 percent on the night.
Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin summed it up for his team, “We had low energy all night…We have to come out ready to play…I tried to see if we could get it turned up (with our bench) but it just didn’t happen.”
With the win the Hawks improved to 15-12 while the Jazz fell to 7-22. Next up for the Hawks is a road trip to the Heat on Monday while the Jazz go to Charlotte.