Hawks push past Jazz as Johnson hits from 3

SALT LAKE CITY -- Midway through the fourth quarter, a Utah Jazz fan yelled, "Give us a miracle."

Instead, the Jazz gave Atlanta another open shot.

Joe Johnson scored 28 points, making five of seven 3-pointers, and the Hawks went 14 of 25 from beyond the arc to cruise past Utah 110-87 on Wednesday night.

"Joe was on fire tonight," teammate Josh Smith said. "Every 3 was definitely big because it was a momentum killer."

Johnson shot 10 for 17 overall and Jamal Crawford added 26 points off the bench for Atlanta, which won its third straight on the road and avenged a 90-86 loss Nov. 12 at home to the Jazz.

Playing the second game on a back-to-back, the Hawks came in a little tired. But their starters set the tone early.

"From the jump, everybody was focused. We knew how important this game was, playing against a tough Utah team," Smith said.

It didn't hurt the Hawks that injured forward Paul Millsap was out of the Jazz lineup.

"We really took advantage of that and were able to establish ourselves early and kept it going through the whole game," Smith said.

Utah's second-leading scorer at 17.5 points per game, Millsap was inactive because of a bruised hip. Without him, 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 in the first quarter. He did not play in the second quarter and finished with one rebound, one steal and no points.

"That definitely hurt," Jazz guard Deron Williams said of Millsap's absence. "But we've had guys injured in the past. It's not an excuse to come out and get beat by 20 on your home floor."

Williams and Andrei Kirilenko each had 19 points to lead the Jazz, who shot just 39.4 percent and fell to 13-7 at home.

Utah 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.

A halfcourt buzzer-beater that Crawford banked in gave the Hawks a 55-41 halftime lead.

Crawford, who scored 31 in a 108-102 win Tuesday night over Sacramento, 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.

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

"We tried to stop them but they were good at keeping their composure and executing their offense," Kirilenko said.

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.

"They were daggers," Smith said. "It feels good when you can get knockdown shots like that. They were in zone and we had open looks."

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.

Maurice Evans hit a pair of 3s and Smith went right through Utah reserve 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.

"I don't know what you call it, but we don't have it," Williams said.

"You can't keep getting down by 15 points in the first half and expect to come back. You can do it every now and then. We've done it a lot in the short season, but you can't rely on it. I don't think any coach in America has a game plan to get down by 15 and come back every game."

Game notes
The Jazz are 5-8 when allowing more than 100 points. ... Utah ranks 28th in first-quarter scoring (23 points per game). ... 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. ... Crawford made his 31st career four-point play at 8:25 of the fourth quarter.

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