SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Jazz had the right opponent in
town to avoid losing five straight at home for the first time in 23
The Atlanta Hawks were welcome guests as the Jazz ended a
four-game home losing streak, beating the Hawks 95-83 Wednesday
"We were just cutting and moving a little more tonight. We
weren't as hesitant to pass the ball," said Matt Harpring, who led
the Jazz with 30 points.
Utah also had 29 assists on 38 field goals, scoring 52 points
inside instead of forcing long shots.
"Tonight we were able to execute our offense and get the ball
where we wanted it to go," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "Those
are the things we have to learn how to do. Let the other team make
Atlanta made plenty. The Hawks committed 21 turnovers and
unraveled in the second half after trailing by a point at halftime.
At 2-16, the Hawks are off to the worst start in team history --
even worse than their 3-15 record after 18 games a year ago.
Atlanta has lost seven straight, going 0-3 on a swing through
Phoenix, Denver and Utah.
"This team shows you how the game should be played because they
pass and cut and move the basketball," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson
said of the Jazz.
Joe Johnson scored 19 and Salim Stoudamire added 15 points for
Atlanta, which was coming off a loss the night before at Denver.
The Hawks had 30 assists Tuesday against the Nuggets, but finished
with just nine Wednesday.
"That's the difference in the game. We don't want to share the
ball," Woodson said.
Utah was just 2-7 in the Delta Center entering Wednesday and
hadn't won at home since beating Milwaukee 100-80 on Nov. 21. With
the Jazz leading by a point at halftime, Harpring took over in the
third quarter against Atlanta, the city where he grew up and went
Harpring was 13-for-17 and led Utah to a 52-percent shooting
"If he gets the ball where he can catch it and shoot it, that's
very effective," Sloan said. "Guys set screens for him. The
game's fairly simple."
Harpring started a 14-4 run in the third quarter with a reverse
layup, then back-to-back jumpers. Later in the run he hit another
jumper to put Utah up 66-57, took an offensive foul from Zaza
Pachulia and hit another jump shot at the other end.
Atlanta got within 11 in the fourth quarter, then Utah scored
the next nine points, including two layups from Harpring.
Harpring's season high was 21 and he missed his career-best
scoring night by three points. He probably could have had that, but
sat out the last few minutes with the Jazz in control. Harpring had
knee surgery after last season and the Jazz have gradually
increased his playing time.
Kirilenko, who is still coming off the bench after missing seven
games with a sprained ankle, finished with three blocks.
"They played hard, but I don't think they believed they can win
the game because they start so bad," Kirilenko said.
The Jazz finished with a 37-29 rebounding advantage. ... Al
Harrington scored 11 points for Atlanta before fouling out with
6:40 left in the game. ... The Hawks were playing the second of two
games without Josh Smith, who was suspended for throwing an elbow.
... Jarron Collins had 10 rebounds and Greg Ostertag pulled down
eight boards for Utah.