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Hawks end 18-year drought with win in Utah
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SALT LAKE CITY — Joe Johnson scored 28 points and Josh Smith added 18 as the Atlanta Hawks won in Utah for the first time in 17 years, beating the short-handed Jazz 105-100 on Monday night.

Johnson scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer with 2:28 left that gave the Hawks a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Jamal Crawford, who had 17 points, followed Johnson’s long shot with a steal and two free throws and the Jazz lost for just the third time in 20 games.

Playing without Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko, the Jazz stayed close until the final minute, but allowed the Hawks to shoot 54 percent.

The Hawks hadn’t won in Utah since Feb. 13, 1993, when Dominique Wilkins scored 43 points to lead Atlanta to a 121-112 victory.

Paul Millsap scored 14 points and Ronnie Price and Kyle Korver each had 13 points for the Jazz, who missed a chance to catch Denver for a share of the Northwest Division lead and the second position in the Western Conference standings.

A night after a 22-point, 23-rebound effort, Carlos Boozer had 12 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high eight assists but missed a couple of late shots and dropped a rebound out of bounds when the Jazz had a chance to tie it in the final minute.

Williams briefly left Sunday’s game at Portland with a leg injury, but returned to help the Jazz complete a 93-89 overtime victory after trailing by 25 points. Williams had 18 points and 12 assists, while playing tenacious defense against Brandon Roy in the final minutes.

Kirilenko left the game against the Trail Blazers in the first quarter with back pain, an ongoing issue for the lanky forward. His recent play has been critical in Utah’s surge, but he has now sat out seven games this season with the ailment.

The Hawks squandered a 17-point fourth-quarter advantage in a 108-104 loss at Golden State on Sunday and had dropped three of four games. But they made 10 of 15 shots in the fourth quarter and outscored the Jazz 31-25 to claim the rare win at Utah.

Johnson made a contested jumper to make it 101-97 and then C.J. Miles missed two free throws on the other end with 32.2 seconds remaining. The rebound resulted in a jump ball that Smith won. Johnson and Crawford made free throws in the final seconds to clinch the victory.

Beyond snapping a 15-game road losing streak in Utah, the win clinched Atlantas first season series sweep of the Jazz since the 1992-93 season.

Without two of their starters, the Jazz came out flat and fell behind by as many as 11 in the first quarter. But seldom-used center Kyrylo Fesenko led the Jazz on a 17-2 run to start the second period. Fesenko’s three-point play capped the surge and gave Utah a 41-30 lead.
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