SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Donovan Mitchell’s playmaking and Utah’s tough fourth-quarter defence helped the Jazz beat the Atlanta Hawks for the second time in five days.
Mitchell scored 27 points to lead the Jazz to a 110-98 victory yesterday. Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson added 16 points apiece for the Jazz. Rudy Gobert grabbed 14 rebounds. Utah shot 51 per cent from the field and had six players score in double figures.
Mitchell went 11 for 20 from the field, his second-most efficient shooting performance of the season.
“It’s less about running the team and managing the game as it is making the right play,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “He’s capable of doing a lot of things on the court whether he’s off the ball or he’s handling the ball.”
Utah held Atlanta to just two baskets over the final six minutes. Those late stops made a difference in a game where the Hawks shot 51 per cent from three-point range.
Kevin Huerter scored 28 points and Trae Young added 27 for the Hawks. Still, neither player scored a point in the fourth quarter.
“It just started on the defensive end,” Mitchell said. “We were making shots, we were going back and forth but when we really honed in on our defence and got stops going, it busted the lead open.”
Cam Reddish had 16 points, while Clint Capela finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Atlanta dropped its fifth straight game, and the strain of the long losing streak is already starting to show on the Hawks.
“A lot of people are frustrated,” Huerter said. “I think that’s the right word. I don’t think we expected to be in this position. But we’ve put ourselves in a hole and we have nobody been to blame but ourselves. Got to be better defensively.”
The Jazz scored baskets on seven straight possessions at one point in the second quarter and shot 12 of 18 from the field during the period to break open a close game.
Mitchell and Mike Conley bookended an 8-0 spurt with three-pointers to give the Jazz a 62-45 lead heading into the final minute before halftime.
Atlanta nearly erased the deficit entirely with an 11-2 run to open the third quarter. John Collins, Huerter, and Young hit three-pointers on three straight possessions to punctuate the spurt and trim Utah’s lead to 64-61.
Mitchell took over to prevent the Hawks from taking their first lead since the first quarter. He made a pair of baskets and fed Gobert for a dunk to help the Jazz extend their lead to 75-64.
Huerter hit a fadeaway jumper as Atlanta cut the deficit to 82-75. Mitchell and Royce O’Neale drove for back-to-back layups to ignite a 13-2 run that snuffed out the Hawks’ comeback attempt. Conley capped the run with a layup that put Utah ahead 95-77.