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Hot-shooting Hayward has 30 points, Jazz crush Hawks 120-95

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ATLANTA (AP) — Utah's best shooting game of the season had Gordon Hayward crowing about defense.

Hayward scored 30 points and the Jazz broke open a close game with 10 straight points in the third quarter to beat the Atlanta Hawks 120-95 on Monday night.

Hayward scored a season-high 33 points in Utah's 105-98 win over Charlotte on Saturday and had 15 points as the Jazz built a 27-14 lead in the first quarter of this one.

Utah's best shooting (61.3 percent) of the season helped the Jazz match their scoring high. Hayward said it all started on the other end of the court.

"We locked down defensively," Hayward said. "We forced them into some tough shots."

Utah led 40-23 in the second quarter before Atlanta had a strong finish to the half and cut the deficit to 54-50.

The Jazz led by only three points early in the second half before a basket by George Hill, who had 22 points, started the decisive 10-0 run. Hill had two three-point plays to close the run.

Utah made 16 of 20 shots in the third quarter while outscoring Atlanta 37-23.

"We can pat ourselves on the back for five seconds," Utah coach Quin Snyder said, adding "we're a long way away from being at the level we want to be at."

Dennis Schroder led Atlanta with 21 points.

The Hawks have lost five of their last 11 games by an average margin of 21.4 points. The stretch includes losses by 23 or more points to Detroit, Washington, Miami and Utah.

Coach Mike Budenholzer said he didn't know if the ugly losses were an aberration.

"It's happened too many times, though," he said.

The Jazz took their second lopsided win of the season over the Hawks, following a 95-68 rout on Nov. 25. The 68 points remains Atlanta's low for the season and the fewest points allowed by the Jazz.

The Jazz never trailed in Monday night's rematch and had the lead in double figures less than five minutes into the game.

The Hawks had no answer for Hayward, who made 12 of 18 shots from the field, including two 3-pointers.

"Credit my teammates," Hayward said. "I got a lot of cuts, a lot of layups. Easy things. And thanks to my teammates for screening me and finding me open."

TIP-INS

Jazz: Utah completed its first two-game sweep of the Hawks since the 2006-07 season. ... G Rodney Hood missed his second straight game with a right knee bone contusion and LCL sprain. Coach Quin Snyder said Hood will be re-evaluated later this week. Hood missed five games with another right knee injury in January. ... Hill took a hard fall early in the third quarter and remained on his back under the basket during the start of a timeout. He remained in the game.

Hawks: Paul Millsap and Tim Hardaway Jr. each had 14 points. ... F Thabo Sefolosha (left groin) missed his fifth straight game. ... The best shot from the Hawks may have come from their mascot. Hairy the Hawk made a backward half-court shot during a timeout in the third period.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR FAVORS

Derrick Favors had a season-high 20 points with 10 rebounds in his second game back for Utah after missing two straight games while resting.

"It just felt good to finally feel like myself," Favors said.

NO DEFENSE

The 61.3 percent shooting by Utah (49 of 80) set a season high for Atlanta's opponents.

"We gave up 61 percent and 120 points," Budenholzer said. "That's just not the defense we're expecting. It's not good enough."

UP NEXT

Jazz: Visit New Orleans on Wednesday night.

Hawks: Visit Denver on Wednesday night.

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