ATLANTA (AP) — While the Utah Jazz bemoaned another lost opportunity on the road, Devin Harris and the Atlanta Hawks celebrated a character-building comeback win.
Harris scored a season-high 24 points and the Hawks rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half to beat the Utah Jazz 103-95 on Friday night, snapping a four-game losing streak.
"It's huge for us," Harris said. "It builds character. It brings a team together."
Randy Foye had 25 points to lead Utah, which had won four of five but was denied its first back-to-back road wins of the season. Al Jefferson had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul Milsap had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz.
Jefferson sat glumly at his locker, his hands over his face, as he reviewed the loss that left Utah 8-15 on the road.
"This is a game we were needed to take care of," Jefferson said. "We had them down, we should have just buried them then. I think we got away from what we had been doing. We turned the ball over too much. We got away from our defense."
Utah led 75-60 in the third quarter.
"We got a 15- point lead, we thought the game was over," said Utah coach Tyrone Corbin. "You have to play 48 minutes."
The Hawks took their first lead of the second half on consecutive baskets by Al Horford. The second basket by Horford, set up by Josh Smith's pass, gave Atlanta a 94-92 lead with 2:44 remaining.
Jefferson answered with a tying basket before Ivan Johnson scored on a fast break to give the lead back to Atlanta.
Utah's Jamaal Tinsley made one of two free throws to leave the Hawks' lead at 96-95. Smith's short jumper and Lou Williams' 3-pointer padded the lead.
The Hawks outscored the Jazz 35-19 in the final period. The 15-point comeback was the largest deficit Atlanta has overcome this season.
"This game was clearly about our defense," said Hawks coach Larry Drew. "It's what we've been preaching from the very beginning, being active, having active hands and just trying to cause havoc. We were a little tentative at times, but when it counted we got aggressive. We got feisty."
Smith had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks. Williams had 14, Ivan Johnson scored 13 and Horford and Zaza Pachulia each added 12.
Johnson and Pachulia were part of a productive second unit that provided the energy Drew sought when the team faced the big deficit.