Hawks finish 3-0 homestand with blowout win over Jazz

ATLANTA - Al Horford and the rest of the Atlanta Hawks kept rolling at home Friday.

Horford missed just four shots in scoring 23 points and reserve Lou Williams tied a season-high with six 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 25 points and Atlanta never trailed in a 118-85 victory over the Utah Jazz at Philips Arena.

Horford’s work was done by the four-minute mark of the third quarter, when he took a feed from Jeff Teague (eight assists) and hit a jumper to put the Hawks (15-12) up 74-48.

Williams was hot all night. He tied a season-high with six 3-pointers on 10 attempts and led a strong effort from the Atlanta bench.

“He’s a shot maker, he can make some tough shots,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It’s good for him to see the ball go through, see him developing his confidence. He’s got a lot more to give us.”

While Atlanta point guard Teague had his 13th game with at least eight assists, his counterpart, Utah rookie Trey Burke, had a tough night. The ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft, who was coming off a career-high 30 points against the Magic Wednesday, was held to just two points as the Hawks tied their best efforts of the season by allowing just 37 percent shooting from the field.

“Pleased with the defensive effort, the attention to detail,” said Budenholzer, whose team defeated Utah for the fifth consecutive time.

Utah (7-22) got as close as 46-30 on two of Jeremy Evans’ 10 points off the bench at the 4:07 mark of the second quarter. Horford hit a jumper, Williams knocked down a 3-pointer and Teague’s bucket made it a 55-34 game at halftime.

Derrick Favors, just miles from where he played his collegiate ball at Georgia Tech, knocked down a jumper with 5:22 left in the first to get the Jazz to within 14-10.

Atlanta followed with a 9-0 run as four different players scored in the one minute 36-seconds spurt and it was a 23-10 advantage.

That was part of a 16-6, quarter-ending run for Atlanta as Williams added five points over a 30-second stretch, including a three that gave the Hawks a double-digit lead for good with a minute left. Meanwhile, the defense held Utah to just 6-of-23 shooting in the opening 12 minutes.

The Hawks went cold for a spell, missing nine of the their first 10 field goal attempts in the second. But Kyle Korver and Williams each hit a three, and Shelvin Mack and Mike Scott hooked up on an alley-oop lay up and Mack hit a bucket of his own and Atlanta’s lead reached 18 points midway through the period.

Horford had a three-point play and a jumper, part of a 14-point first half on 7-of-9 shooting for the Hawks’ center. Williams also finished a solid opening half with the last of his 11 points on a 3-pointer that made it a 53-32 game with 1:40 left until halftime.

Utah’s Gordon Hayward hit a 3-pointer with 3:40 left in the third, but that was Hayward’s only three in four attempts as the visitors’ other starting guard struggled as well (4-of-14 on field goals). Alec Burks and Enes Kanter each had 13 points off the bench to lead the Jazz, who got just 33 points on 13-of-40 shooting from its starting five.

“It was a night where…I think we caught (Utah) on an off night, one of those nights where they couldn’t make shots,” said Budenholzer.

Though the Hawks got 56 points from their starters, including 14 points and 10 rebounds from Paul Millsap, the bench, led by Williams, scored 62. Scott had another nice night, contributing 11 points, six rebounds and three of the team’s 32 assists, the third straight game Atlanta has had 30 or more assists.

“I think the bench was really good. When we can get that kind of production form our bench it’s helpful,” Budenholzer said.

After a 3-0 homestead, the Hawks head out on the road for a pair, beginning with a game at two-time defending league champion and Southeast Division-leading Miami Monday.

“It’s always a greater challenge on the road, but hopefully our group is up to that,” Budenholzer said.