THE FACTS: The return of Devin Harris to the Atlanta starting lineup could not have come at a better time, although without a huge lift from the bench the Hawks would not have beaten the Jazz 103-95 Friday to snap a four-game losing streak. Harris scored a season-high 24 points against his former team and pushed the pace furiously as Atlanta rallied from a 15-point third quarter deficit. That was the largest deficit the Hawks (21-14) have overcome to win this season.
Jazz (19-19) guard Randy Foye scored 15 of his 25 in the first quarter, and Utah had three starters score at least 20 points as Al Jefferson had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Paul Millsap added 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Trailing 82-76 with 8:47 left in the game, Atlanta coach Larry Drew put starters Josh Smith (15 points, 10 rebounds, team-high six assists) and Al Horford back in and juggled them. Atlanta rode that lineup the rest of the way with Smith playing Kyle Korver's small forward spot, Johnson at power forward, Lou Williams in Harris' shooting guard position and Harris playing the point rather than Jeff Teague.
The Hawks tied the game twice in the final half quarter, and took a 94-92 lead on Horford's alley-oop from Smith with 2:44 remaining. After Utah tied the score on Jefferson's layup with 2:18 remaining, Atlanta closed the game with a 9-1 spurt while the Hawks blocked three of the Jazz' final five shots (two by Horford, one by Ivan Johnson).
Harris had 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals without a turnover in the fourth quarter.
QUOTABLE: "It didn't have a good rhythm . . . we just couldn't get into a groove, particularly the starters. Our bench guys came in and gave us tremendous energy . . . this game was clearly about our defense. It's what we've been preaching, having active hands and just trying to cause havoc. We got feisty."
-- Larry Drew
THE STAT: Utah shot 30-for-57 (52.6 percent) over the first three quarters, but just 6-for-19 (31.6 percent) in the fourth. The Jazz also out-rebounded Atlanta 26-19 over the first three periods before the Hawks had a 14-9 edge in the fourth. The Hawks only turned the ball over once in the fourth after coughing it up 12 times in the first three.
QUOTABLE II: "This was a game we were supposed to win . . . maybe we felt like we had the game in the bag, and just laid down."
-- Al Jefferson
TURNING POINT: The final three minutes of the third quarter set the tempo that determined the game. Atlanta was horrendous in the first nine minutes of the period, as Utah scored 28 points. Atlanta starters turned the ball over on four of their first five possessions, and Utah expanded a 47-43 halftime lead to 75-60 by late in the third.
From that point, Drew played subs liberally for a while. With Harris as the only starter on the floor over the final three minutes of the third period and the first 2:30 of the fourth (after he missed 11 straight games with a sore foot and then played 12 scoreless minutes off the bench in Wednesday's loss in Cleveland), the Hawks went on a 16-7 run.
QUOTABLE III: "It was just a matter of playing with some energy. We called a timeout and we had to make mention of our body language, on how guys were carrying themselves. We came out of the timeout with a little bit of new hope."
-- Lou Williams on the burst of energy provided by the bench
HOT: Foye, whose six 3-pointers made were a season high (on seven attempts), shot 5-for-6 in the first quarter -- including all three of his trey tries -- and added two free throws while scoring 15 in the period. . . . After shooting 5-for-7, Zaza Pachulia is 12-for-18 over the past three games. . . . Smith, typically a power forward, has 30 assists over the past six games. Friday was the first game in seven in which he failed to make at least one 3-pointer. . . . Jefferson (10-for-19) has shot 21-for-34 in the past two games. . . . Jazz point guard Jamaal Tinsley has 17 assists in the past two contests in about 47 minutes.
NOT: Horford had just one rebound through three quarters and three in the game. . . . Millsap missed all four of his shots in the fourth quarter after shooting 8-for-12 before that.
QUOTABLE IV: "The combination of Lou [Williams] and Devin [Harris] playing together was very effective throughout the game. That's why I elected to stay with them down the stretch."
-- Larry Drew
ROOKIE REPORT: Jenkins made his only shot, that 3-pointer, and leads all rookies with a 52.4 percent shooting mark from distance this season. He has taken benefited from injuries to Anthony Morrow and DeShawn Stevenson recently to gain playing time.
NOTABLE: When he made a 3-pointer in the first quarter, Korver tied former Hawk Mookie Blaylock for the second-longest streak in franchise history with at least one trey made in 29 consecutive games. Blaylock also holds the franchise record of 42 straight games with at least one 3-pointer in a separate streak. . . . Hawks guard/forward Morrow missed his seventh straight game with a strained hip. . . . DeShawn Stevenson (knees) missed his second straight game although he was active Friday. He was inactive Wednesday at Cleveland. ... Marvin Williams -- who was traded to Utah in the deal last offseason that sent Harris to Atlanta -- missed his second straight game with inflammation in his left knee.
UP NEXT: For the Jazz, Saturday @ Detroit, Monday vs. Miami, Saturday vs. Cleveland. For the Hawks, Saturday @ Washington, Monday @ Chicago, Wednesday vs. Brooklyn.