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Hawks vs Jazz: Al Horford's Monster Performance Powers Atlanta Past Utah 102-91

Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford points gestures after scoring in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, in Salt Lake City. The Hawks defeated the Jazz 102-91. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Al Horford followed up his huge game Monday night with another monster double-double performance on Wednesday, scoring a career-high 34 points and grabbing 15 boards in a 102-91 victory against the Utah Jazz, extending Atlanta’s winning streak to four straight.

Horford also had five blocks in the game and scored 16 of the Hawks’ 20 points in the final quarter to secure the victory. He is averaging 26 points and 14 rebounds on .647 shooting (46-of-71) during the team’s win streak.

Josh Smith poured in 24 points to go with 14 boards, seven assists and one steal. Jeff Teague added 19 points, seven assists, three steals and two rebounds, while Devin Harris chipped in with 12 points, three steals, two assists and two rebounds. No other Atlanta player scored more than four points.

Al Jefferson led the charge for Utah, scoring 26 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Derrick Favors, who was a last minute fill-in after starter Paul Millsap was a game-time scratch, had 17 points and 15 boards, while Randy Foye and Gordon Hayward each chipped in with 11 points.

The Hawks jumped out to an early 18-10 lead in the game and finished the opening period with a 30-25 advantage.

Midway through the second quarter, Utah went on a 9-0 run and tied the score 39-39 when Alec Burks capped off the spurt with a strong driving lay-up. After both teams traded buckets, Atlanta ended the period on a 15-7 run and went into halftime leading 56-48.

The Jazz got off to a horrible start in the second half, missing their first eight shots, resulting on the wrong end of a 10-2 spurt. A few possessions later, it didn’t get any better as they went down by 20 points. However, Utah finally came to life toward the end of the third quarter with an 11-2 run that culminated in a conventional three-point play by Favors to cut the Hawks’ lead to 82-71.

But it was too little, too late.

The Jazz never got within seven points and Atlanta cruised down the stretch for a 102-91 victory.

Utah Jazz (31-27) have lost two in a row and will look to rebound at home against the Charlotte Bobcats (13-44) on Friday at 9:00 PM (EST).

Atlanta Hawks (33-23) have won three straight on the road and four games overall. They look to extend those marks at the Phoenix Suns (20-39) on Friday at 9:00 PM (EST).

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