Atlanta finally breaks slump
by Charles Odum
Associated Press Sports Writer
January 12, 2013 01:16 AM | 963 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Hawks’ Jeff Teague passes the ball as he encounters the defense of Utah’s Derrick Favors in Friday’s Atlanta win.
<Br>Associated Press photo
The Hawks’ Jeff Teague passes the ball as he encounters the defense of Utah’s Derrick Favors in Friday’s Atlanta win.
Associated Press photo
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ATLANTA — Devin Harris scored a season-high 24 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from a second-half deficit of 15 points to beat the Utah Jazz 103-95 on Friday night.

Randy Foye had 25 points to lead Utah, which had won four of five but was denied its first back-to-back road wins of the season. Al Jefferson had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Paul Milsap had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz.

The Hawks, who trailed 75-60 in the third quarter, played from behind before taking their first lead of the second half on consecutive baskets by Al Horford. The second basket by Horford, set up by Josh Smith’s pass, gave Atlanta a 94-92 lead with 2:44 remaining.

Jefferson answered with a tying basket before Ivan Johnson scored on a fast break to give the lead back to Atlanta.

Utah’s Jamaal Tinsley made one of two free throws to leave the Hawks’ lead at 96-95. Josh Smith’s short jumper and Lou Williams’ 3-pointer padded the lead.

Smith had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Williams had 14, Ivan Johnson had 13 and Horford and Zaza Pachulia each had 12.

Harris made his first start since missing 10 games with a sore left foot. He played 14 scoreless minutes in a loss at Cleveland on Wednesday night and then said before Friday night’s game, “As far as I’m concerned, I’m ready to roll.”

Harris backed up his claim by going 7-of-8 from the field. He added five assists.

Utah took its biggest lead late in the third period when a 3-pointer by Hawks rookie John Jenkins sparked an 8-1 run as Atlanta cut the lead to 76-68 entering the final period.

Pachulia opened the fourth period with back-to-back baskets as the Hawks cut the deficit to four points.

Harris hit a 3-pointer to cut Utah’s lead to 82-79 and made only one of three free throws 40 seconds later to trim the deficit to two points.

The Hawks finally pulled even at 85-all with 5:48 remaining when Harris had a steal to set up his 3-pointer. Utah Jazz forward Marvin Williams, traded to Utah in the offseason following seven seasons with the Hawks, was with the team but not in uniform in his first return to Atlanta. Williams, who was held out with inflammation in his right knee, visited his former Hawks teammates before the game.

Harris was acquired by Atlanta in the Williams trade.

Hawks coach Larry Drew started Harris with Jeff Teague in the backcourt and Kyle Korver at small forward as he tweaked the lineup.

NOTES: Former Hawks star Dominique Wilkins, on press row as a TV color analyst, was presented a birthday cake during a break. Wilkins celebrates his 53rd birthday today. ... Korver hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter to give him 3s in a personal-best 29 consecutive games. ... Foye had 15 points in the first quarter as he made each of his three 3-pointers.

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