SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz playoff hopes are beginning to fade.
Jeff Teague scored 24 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 91-84 victory over the Jazz on Tuesday night.
“I thought Jeff was good everywhere tonight,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He’s in an aggressive place and mindset. He’s seeing some holes and some opening where he can attack. When he’s attacking, everything else comes.”
The Jazz committed 20 turnovers in losing for the sixth time in their last seven games, and fell two games behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final spot in the West.
Teague added six assists, while Paul Millsap finished with 18 points and nine rebounds. The Hawks point guards outscored Utah’s 31-9.
“Atlanta did some things that really bothered us, and we started turning the ball over” said Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. “We’ve talked about when teams raise their level you have to respond. We just have to play better throughout the course of the game.”
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 22 points and Derrick Favors chipped in 16.
“It was a tough, tough night for us,” Hayward said. “Offensively, we struggled. We got some good looks, but we just didn’t knock them down. When you can’t put the ball in the basket, it really makes it tough on you.”
“They did a good job of hawking the ball, no pun intended,” Snyder said. “Their aggressiveness defensively at certain times was a problem for us.”
The Hawks held the Jazz to just 15 points in the third quarter, a season-low for the period. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored six straight to close the quarter and give the Hawks a 66-57 lead.
The Jazz cut the lead to three in the fourth thanks to nine points from Hayward, but Utah couldn’t get stops down the stretch as Teague made play after play.
The Jazz jumped out to a 35-22 lead early in the second quarter, highlighted by a four-point play by Joe Ingles, but the flow of the game changed immediately afterward.
Utah closed the first quarter on a 8-2 run, but the Hawks rallied with a 19-3 spurt to take a 41-38 lead, including a fast-break alley-oop from Dennis Schroder to Horford.
The Jazz next travel to Golden State to take on the 56-6 Warriors, who haven’t lost at home all season.