Joe Johnson's 28 points jolt Atlanta Hawks over Utah Jazz

January 6, 2011 

Jamal Crawford adds 26 off the bench

By LYNN DeBRUIN

AP Sports Writer

SALT LAKE CITY -- Joe Johnson scored 28 points, making five of seven 3-pointers, and Jamal Crawford added 26 off the bench as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Utah Jazz 110-87 on Wednesday night.

The victory was the third straight on the road for Atlanta, which avenged a 90-86 loss Nov. 12 at home to the Jazz.

Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko each had 19 points to lead the Jazz, who were without second-leading scorer Paul Millsap because of a bruised hip.

The Hawks hurt the Jazz with 3-pointers, hitting 14 of 25 on the night, including a halfcourt buzzer-beater that Crawford banked in for a 55-41 halftime lead.

The Jazz got off to another slow start, trailing 12-3 and 20-6.

Johnson opened the game with an uncontested 3 and Crawford hit Atlanta’s fourth of the quarter to give the Hawks a 14-point lead with 5:18 left in the first.

The Hawks led 30-17 after one, with the Jazz shooting just 35.3 percent to 52.4 percent for the Hawks.

Without Millsap, Utah coach Jerry Sloan opted to go big, giving Francisco Elson his first start in a Jazz uniform.

But Elson was scoreless and did not have a rebound for the Jazz in the first quarter. He did not play in the second quarter and finished with one rebound, one steal and no points.

Utah scored the first five points of the second quarter, but Atlanta bumped its lead back to 34-22 after back-to-back scores by Crawford and Jason Collins. The lead was 14 again midway through the quarter after a pair of free throws by Maurice Evans.

The Jazz had a chance to go into the locker room at halftime down only 10, but Raja Bell missed one of two free throws and Crawford raced up court and banked in the halfcourt shot.

Crawford, who scored 31 in a 108-102 win Tuesday night over Sacramento and was averaging 27 points over the last three games, had 17 off the bench for Atlanta in the first half on 6-of-11 shooting. The Hawks made six of 11 3-pointers in the half.

The Hawks led by as many as 18 in the third quarter after Johnson hit his fourth 3 of the game.

Williams cut it to 10 with a four-point play with 8:11 left in the quarter but Johnson’s fifth 3 made it 70-57.

Johnson, who missed nine games in December with an elbow injury, had his touch Wednesday night. He hit nine of his first 13 shots.

Kirilenko tried to rally the Jazz with 12 points in the third quarter on 5-of-5 shooting. But the Hawks had an answer each time.

Evans hit a pair of 3-pointers and Josh Smith went right through Jeremy Evans for a dunk.

The Hawks led by 17 entering the fourth and quickly bumped it to 21 on back-to-back jump shots by Crawford and Al Horford, who finished with 18 points.

NOTES: The Jazz are 5-8 when allowing more than 100 points. ... The Hawks had a better shooting percentage from 3-point territory (56) than overall (50.6). ... Williams was given a technical in the second quarter for arguing a no-call. ... The Jazz shot just 40.5 percent in the first half.

ATLANTA (110)

Smith 3-8 5-5 12, Horford 9-16 0-0 18, Collins 2-5 0-0 4, Bibby 1-5 0-0 3, Johnson 10-17 3-4 28, Ja.Crawford 9-18 4-5 26, Pachulia 0-0 0-0 0, M.Evans 3-6 4-4 13, Powell 1-2 0-0 2, Jo.Crawford 1-1 0-0 2, Teague 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 40-79 16-18 110.

UTAH (87)

Kirilenko 7-13 2-2 19, Elson 0-1 0-0 0, Jefferson 6-17 1-2 13, D.Williams 5-15 7-9 19, Bell 3-5 1-2 9, Miles 2-7 2-2 6, Fesenko 0-2 3-4 3, Price 1-5 3-4 5, Watson 1-2 3-4 5, J.Evans 2-3 0-0 4, Hayward 1-1 2-2 4. Totals 28-71 24-31 87.

Atlanta 30 25 31 24--110

Utah 17 24 28 18-- 87

3-Point Goals--Atlanta 14-25 (Johnson 5-7, Ja.Crawford 4-7, M.Evans 3-5, Smith 1-2, Bibby 1-4), Utah 7-14 (Kirilenko 3-3, Bell 2-3, D.Williams 2-6, Miles 0-1, Price 0-1). Fouled Out--None. Rebounds--Atlanta 52 (Horford 8), Utah 39 (Jefferson 7). Assists--Atlanta 24 (Bibby 8), Utah 16 (D.Williams 9). Total Fouls--Atlanta 27, Utah 16. Technicals--Atlanta defensive three second, D.Williams, Utah defensive three second. A--19,911 (19,911).

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