Hawks win 3rd straight, dominates Jazz

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ATLANTA -- Ten days ago, ATLANTA center Al Horford suffered through one of his worst nights as a professional. Things have certainly changed for the better over the ensuing five games.

Horford scored 23 points Friday and the ATLANTA Hawks continued their high-scoring ways in a 118-85 victory over the Utah Jazz, extending their winning streak to three games. It matched ATLANTA's best defensive effort of the season.

Horford, a sixth-year veteran from Florida, made 11 of 15 shots from the field in only 23 minutes. He added four rebounds and one assist and didn't play in the fourth quarter. Horford is averaging 23.6 points and 9.2 rebounds in the last five games (four wins). That seven-point effort against Oklahoma City on Dec. 10 has long been forgotten.

"I made good shots," Horford said. "I missed a few that I thought I should have made -- a few jump shots -- being the perfectionist I am. Our energy was the difference tonight."

ATLANTA continues to grow into the unselfish system being taught by first-year coach Mike Budenholzer. In the last four games, the Hawks (15-12) are averaging 115.5 points and have reached 100 in their last 10 games. ATLANTA improved to 5-1 at Philips Arena against Western Conference teams.

"I liked the mentality and the focus our group came out with tonight," Budenholzer said. "They were able to maintain it. That's been one of our talking points, something we've been wanting to improve."

The Hawks also got a 25-point contribution from guard Lou Williams, who came off the bench to tie a career high with six 3-pointers. Forward Paul Millsap, who played seven seasons in Utah before coming to ATLANTA this year as a free agent, had 14 points and 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double.

"I just made shots," Williams said. "I talked myself into making shots. I had a lot more confidence. After having two points the other night, I got some extra shooting in. I'm glad it was able to pay off."

Utah was led by center Enes Kanter and point guard Alec Burks with 13 points apiece. Kanter had a season-high 13 rebounds.

Jazz rookie guard Trey Burke, who scored a career-best 30 points Tuesday, didn't score until 8:02 left in the third quarter -- his only two points of the game. He was 1-for-8 from the floor.

Utah (7-22) is 1-2 on its five-game road trip and 1-6 on the road this season against Eastern Conference teams. The Jazz shot only 37.2 percent from the floor against the ATLANTA and got just 33 points from its starters.

"We had low energy all night long," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We didn't come out with a sense of urgency that we've been seeing. I liked the way we played in Orlando the other night. I was looking for that kind of effort, but we just didn't have it from the beginning of the ball game tonight."

ATLANTA got eight points from Horford in the first quarter and used a 19-6 run to take a 23-10 lead with 3:46 left. The Hawks stretched the lead to 30-16 by scoring the last seven points of the first quarter.

ATLANTA continued to pour it on in the second quarter when Williams made two 3-pointers, the second giving the Hawks a 21-point lead they carried into halftime.

Utah was only 13-for-40 (32.5 percent) from the floor in the first half and had no players in double figures at halftime.

The Jazz managed 24 points in the third quarter but were still outscored by six points and trailed 85-58 at the end of the third.

"We came out flat and had no energy," Utah forward Derrick Favors said. "They came out with focus and they got the job done. We just have to come out with that kind of energy and attitude like they had tonight."

NOTES: ATLANTA was without F Cartier Martin and F Gustavo Ayon for the second straight game. Martin hurt his left ankle in practice on Tuesday and Ayon missed his sixth straight game with a left ankle sprain. Martin was still limping, but Ayon was working on drills after Friday's practice. There is no timetable for the return of either. ... ATLANTA G Kyle Korver wasted no time extending his NBA-record streak of consecutive games with a 3-point basket to 96 when he knocked down his first attempt with 4:20 left in the first quarter. Korver made eight 3-pointers in Tuesday night's win over Sacramento. ... Trade talks between the Hawks and Rockets regarding C Omer Asik were called off on Thursday. Houston set a deadline of Thursday to move the disgruntled player. ... Utah G Gordon Hayward had a special meet-and-greet with fans from Butler, his alma mater, before the game. ... Utah plays again Saturday in Charlotte. ATLANTA plays four of its next five games on the road, starting Monday in Miami.

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