The Hawks were at work once again Monday night in the middle of a long home stand with the Utah Jazz in town. The Hawks got their first look at rookie phenom Donovan Mitchell as the Jazz got a chance to check out John Collins, who is a pretty good rookie in his own right.
The Hawks inactives for Friday’s game included DeAndre’ Bembry, who will not play as he continues his rehab from a “left groin strain” that may keep him sidelined longer than first anticipated, and Tyler Cavanaugh.
The game began as a painful course of miscues for both teams as it was rough in the early going. Dennis Schroder was the entirety of the Hawks offense in the first quarter scoring eight of the Hawks first 12 points. Outside of Schroder, the offense was abysmal for the Hawks, but Luke Babbitt did come into the game for his first action in awhile and naturally hit a three pointer right away. Neither team could really get anything going with a lot of sloppy play happening on both sides and Utah took a one-point lead into the second quarter at 20-19.
The second quarter started out much better for both teams as Luke Babbitt and Utah’s Royce O’Neale exchanged shots to open the period. Ersan Ilyasova had a mini scoring burst of his own countered by some good shooting from Donovan Mitchell and Derrick Favors, who kept Utah afloat in the second. Joe Johnson checked in to a round of applause late in the second and hit a floater to the delight of the Atlanta faithful who can remember his time with the Hawks. Outside of a few select plays the game was largely a stalemate in the first half and the teams went into the locker room with Atlanta holding a one-point lead, 42-41.
The third quarter was much better for the home team as the Hawks cleaned up their offensive woes. Kent Bazemore and Taurean Prince hit three three-pointers in a row to open the second half and Prince continued his good work to break out of the slump that has been pestering him lately. Once again, the Jazz got most all of their offense through Donovan Mitchell and Derrick Favors, who both had nice nights. Malcolm Delaney had a good game overall off the bench for Atlanta creating for others and hitting a couple of key threes in the third. While the Jazz continued to struggle, the Hawks elevated their game and took a 74-63 lead into the final period.
Atlanta really decided to take care of business in the fourth with little resistance from Utah’s offense, which was stagnant the entire night. The Hawks blew it open with an 8-0 run to open the fourth quarter getting great ball movement from Mike Muscala and Prince for a Bazemore three that put the Hawks up 19. The Jazz continued to turn the ball over and Atlanta continued their great ball movement getting the Hawks up to a game high 23-point lead and overall a 25-3 run over the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth. Collins had a monster dunk on Rudy Gobert with just over eight minutes remaining (as seen below) and then nailed a corner three showing off all of his tools. The Hawks and Jazz both subbed in their benches with around 6 minutes remaining and Tyler Dorsey continued his good play with a pull-up three pointer and an bullet assist for a dunk from Muscala. The teams exchanged shots down the final two minutes with the game already decided for the Hawks.
Taurean Prince drives and gives John Collins the cookies. pic.twitter.com/TgxCJUHe5y— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) January 23, 2018
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