High-scoring Hawks roll past Jazz, 118-85

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 20, 2013 at 9:40 pm •  Published: December 20, 2013
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ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks are slowly picking up the ball-movement lessons Mike Budenholzer learned as a longtime assistant with the Spurs.

Those lessons were more than enough to overwhelm the Utah Jazz.

Lou Williams scored 25 points and the Hawks continued their offensive upswing as they rolled to an easy 118-85 victory over the Jazz on Friday night, winning their third straight and for the fourth time in five games.

The Hawks had 32 assists, adding to their NBA lead and bringing a smile to the face of their first-year coach.

"It's an indication they're just getting a better and better understanding of the ball movement and how we want to play," Budenholzer said. "Passing and hitting the open guy just becomes something that's expected."

Atlanta set a scoring high with its 124-107 win over Sacramento on Wednesday night and has topped 110 points in three straight games.

Al Horford, who had 23 points, has been a key in the recent flurry of high-scoring games. He has averaged 23.6 points in his last five games.

Williams, who has played in only 14 games in his return from knee surgery, took extra shooting practice after scoring only two points in 20 minutes in Wednesday night's win over Sacramento.

"I'm glad it paid off," Williams said. "It was one of the nights we had everything clicking."

The Hawks never trailed and pushed their lead to double digits for good in the opening period. They kept up the pressure, outscoring Utah in every period and making 52.3 percent of their shots (45 of 86) from the field.

Budenholzer said the most encouraging sign was "not so much putting them away, but just continuing to play the way we play, just doing the things we did to establish a lead. Tonight was a step forward in that direction."

Jeff Teague had nine points and eight assists.

Horford was resting when the Hawks took an 85-58 lead into the final period.

"Our energy was the difference," Horford said.

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