SALT LAKE CITY —
Still, Utah was left with far too much ground to make up in a short amount of time.
"We've got to be able to pick it up in the third," Jazz guard Gordon Hayward said. "We can't be flat like we were. Hopefully, we can change that in the next game."
DeMarre Carroll kept the Jazz within striking distance late into the fourth quarter. Carroll twice helped Utah cut the lead to eight — first on a 3-pointer and then on a steal that he fed to Favors for a dunk that trimmed Atlanta's lead to 92-84.
The Hawks held the Jazz in check down the stretch, however. Horford made a pair of baskets to put Atlanta back up by 12. Then, Smith hammered home a dunk after Favors hit a pair of free throws to cut it to 96-89 in the final minute.
"We just kept digging and kept playing hard," Smith said. "Anytime they went on a run, we tried to silence them with a layup or a big shot."
The first quarter played out with Smith and Jefferson trading baskets. Smith made a hook shot to spark a 10-3 run and capped it with a dunk that gave Atlanta an early 18-11 lead. Jefferson helped rally the Jazz by making four straight baskets. The final one, a double-pump short jumper, left the Hawks clinging to a 27-25 lead with 20.5 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Jefferson tallied 11 points in the quarter, while Smith finished with 10.
Atlanta built the lead back up early in the second quarter, extended the advantage to 39-30 as Horford made three baskets over a 3-minute span. Utah answered with a 9-0 run — capped by a driving layup from Alec Burks — to tie it at 39.
Horford and Teague combined to score 11 points in the final 2:30 of the first half to help Atlanta take a 56-48 lead going into the locker room.