Donovan Mitchell scores 27 to lead Jazz over Hawks

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DONOVAN Mitchell scored 27 points to lead five Utah Jazz players in double digits en route to a 110-98 home win over the struggling Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in Salt Lake City.

Utah’s defense, led by reigning Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, also had a big night, holding the Hawks to just 18 points in the fourth quarter and to 43.5% shooting overall. The Jazz also held Kevin Huerter and Trae Young scoreless in the final quarter after they scored 28 and 27 points, respectively, in the first 36 minutes.

Atlanta, in the midst of a tough four-game Western Conference road trip, dropped its fifth straight game. The Jazz, meanwhile, began a five-game homestand on the right note after playing seven of their first 10 games on the road.

Utah also had a low-scoring fourth quarter with just 15 points, but they had a timely 8-0 offensive spurt to turn a competitive game into a blowout. Mitchell sparked that surge with a 3-pointer after which he waved his arms to the crowd to cheer louder.

Soon after, Jordan Clarkson hit a 3 and Hassan Whiteside scored inside to help Utah go ahead 108-93. That advantage proved big enough to help the Jazz bounce back after losing a pair of road games in Florida over the weekend.

Clarkson had 16 points and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 18 points for the Jazz, and Whiteside contributed eight points and eight rebounds off the bench in one of his best outings with his new team. Royce O’Neale added 11 points and Mike Conley dished out six assists with 12 points.

Young scored the final five points of the half to bring the Hawks within a dozen points at half time at 62-50. He carried that momentum over to the third quarter by making a floater that sparked an 8-0 run finished by 3-pointers from John Collins and Huerter. Overall, that was a 13-0 run for Atlanta. Young then followed a Mitchell jumper with a 3-pointer to pull Atlanta within 64-61.

Fueled by Mitchell and Gobert, Utah used a 7-0 run to again go up by double figures at 75-64. A 13-2 run near the end of the third quarter helped the Jazz take a 95-77 advantage.

Lou Williams hit a 3 to make it 98-91 as the Hawks began the fourth with renewed energy and an 11-3 run, but the Jazz finished tough for the win. — Reuters