NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 10th (All times Eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (26-35) at Utah Jazz (22-41), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks are barely clinging to the final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference and could very well lose the position if their bad play continues.
The Hawks hope to end their unsuccessful six-game road trip on a winning note when they invade Salt Lake City Monday to take on the Utah Jazz. The Hawks have lost the first five tests on the jaunt, including Saturday's tough 109-108 setback to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Hawks guard Jeff Teague drove on Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and put up a wild shot, but Jordan was called for a foul. Teague stepped to the stripe with 1.2 seconds left and missed the first of two free throws. He then tried to miss the second attempt, but the shot banked in giving the ball back to L.A.
The Clippers ran out the remaining clock to send Atlanta to its sixth straight loss and 14th in the last 15 tries. Atlanta led 32-25 after one and brought a slim 58-57 lead into the locker room at the half. The Hawks pushed their halftime lead to 67-63, but the Clippers used a 13-3 run to grab a 76-70 advantage.
"We had a chance to send it into overtime, but things didn't go our way late," said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. "I'm proud of our guys for their effort. We just couldn't get it done."
DeMarre Carroll scored 19 points, Kyle Korver had 17 and Pero Antic added 16 points for the Hawks, who shot 50 percent from the floor. The Hawks had 19 turnovers converted into 25 L.A. points and received 14 points from All-Star forward Paul Millsap. Teague ended with nine points.
Millsap and Carroll will make a return to the Jazz and signed with Atlanta this offseason. Millsap averaged 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists while starting 78 games with the Jazz last season and was Utah's second-round pick in 2006-07.
"They should boo me. I'm on the opposing team," Millsap said of Jazz fans in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "Anyone comes into your house, you boo them. I expect the worst. Hopefully, it's not what I expect it will be."
The Hawks have lost 10 in a row on the road, are 9-24 as the visitor this season and own a lowly 1-12 road record against teams from the West. They haven't won as the guest since Jan. 31 at Philadelphia.
Atlanta, winless in six straight against Western teams, will return home to host Milwaukee and Denver later in the week.
Utah was able to find a win in the finale of their six-game road trip with Saturday's 104-92 victory over the slumping 76ers on the second night of a back-to-back.
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 22 points, Alec Burks scored 19 and Derrick Favors finished with 15 and 14 rebounds in the win. Enes Kanter provided a double-double of his own with 13 points and 10 boards. The Sixers were pesky toward the end, but the Jazz fended them off.
"We did a good job of finishing the game," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin.
Hayward is averaging 18.3 points in his last seven games.
Corbin's squad will begin a three-game homestand Monday versus Atlanta, Dallas and the Clippers, and has a 14-16 record in Salt Lake City. Burks has played well in the last 12 games at home, averaging 19.6 ppg. He has five 20-point efforts in that span.
Utah lost at Atlanta by a 118-85 score on Dec. 20 and has dropped five straight and eight of the last nine games in this series. Atlanta has won three straight after losing its last 15 at Utah, which leads the all-time series at 48-44 with a 31-14 record at home.
The Jazz are 16-4 against the Hawks at Energy Solutions Arena.
03/10 12:45:37 ET