SALT LAKE CITY -- The Hawks kicked off the first game of their back-to-back on the right foot Friday night. They downed the Jazz 115-108.

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Here are five observations:

1. De’Andre Hunter gave the Hawks everything on both ends of the floor and he sealed the game too. With the Jazz making their final push of the night, the Hawks continued to scrap.

Trae Young found Hunter wide open in the corner and the 24-year-old stuck it with 22 seconds left in the game, extending a four-point lead to seven at 115-108.

Hunter gave the Hawks plenty of offensive power in the second half, scoring 19 of his 26 points. The Hawks did a good job of sharing the ball all night and finding the hot hand. In the second half, Hunter found his spots to get open.

“Trae made some great passes, CC (Clint Capela) made some good passes, DJ (Dejounte Murray),” Hunter said. “I was just in the right spot and they’re shots I take every day, so routine, that’s all.”

2.The Hawks nursed a double-digit lead down the stretch of Friday’s game. Up 106-95 with 3:54 left in the game, Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson buried a 3-pointer from the sideline before coming back down court to make another from the other side to pull the Jazz within 106-101 with 3:17 in the game, forcing a timeout.

Young, who finished with 27 points, would hit a 3 out of the break but the Jazz had all the rhythm as they continued their run.

3. To open the night, the Hawks outscored the Jazz early to get off to a strong start with a 12-3 run in the first four minutes. Despite a few pushes from the Jazz, the Hawks held firm in the first quarter, taking a 32-22 lead into the second.

They put their foot on the gas as the second unit, playing with Murray, extended the team’s lead to 15 before the starters returned and extended the lead to 60-38 with 3:45 left in the half.

But the Hawks stumbled and the Jazz clawed into the lead with Clarkson finding the basket with a couple of layups and a jumper to cap off a 12-2 run at the end of the first half. It gave the Jazz the momentum heading into the locker room and set them up for a hot start to open the third.

“We did a good job of keeping them in front, offensively, showing patience on the offensive end of the floor, and executing our offense ... did a good job of taking care of the basketball, sharing the ball in that first half, and were able to put up 62 points in that first half,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said.

4. The Hawks got off to a strong start against the Jazz with John Collins leading the way with 10 quick points in his first nine minutes. They needed a strong start against the Jazz to start the back-to-back on the right note. They play the Nuggets in Denver Saturday.

The Hawks had to do much of the work inside the arc despite hitting 19 3-pointers in their previous game. They opened the night making just three of their 19 attempts from distance but kept the Jazz at bay by getting to the line.

They also executed their defensive plan solidly, limiting newly minted All-Star Lauri Markkanen, as well as Clarkson to a combined 7-of-21 overall shooting in the first half. They also limited them from beyond the arc, holding them to 1-of-10 shooting from 3.

“It starts with controlling the basketball, keeping the ball in front, when you can do that you can stay with the perimeter and guard the perimeter, you can stay with your man and box out, which we were able to do that tonight,” McMillan said.

5. The Hawks crashed the boards all night, especially against one of the bigger teams in the NBA. The Jazz rank ninth in the NBA in offensive rebounding and the Hawks came up big to give themselves as many opportunities as possible.

They outrebounded the Jazz 52-50 and made Utah uncomfortable on the other end. The Hawks scored 13 points off the 15 turnovers they forced.

Hawks 115, Jazz 108

Stat to know

6 - The Hawks broke a six-game losing streak against the Jazz with Friday’s win. It’s the club’s first win in Salt Lake City since March 20, 2018.


“We’ve been doing a better job of attacking the paint and creating opportunities with ball movement. And when you’re getting rhythm shots like that you’re going to shoot a higher percentage.” -- Coach Nate McMillan pregame on why the Hawks have shot better over the last 10 games.

Up next

The Hawks head one state over to face the Nuggets on Saturday night.