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February 28, 2013

Horford leads Hawks past Jazz 102-91

SALT LAKE CITY — With an array of jumpers and layups, Al Horford put on a scoring clinic.

He saved his best for the fourth quarter.

Horford scored 16 of career-high 34 points in the final period and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Josh Smith added 24 points 14 rebounds and seven assists to help the Atlanta Hawks hold off a fourth-quarter rally by the Utah Jazz in a 102-91 victory Wednesday night.

"We worked too hard to give it up," Horford said. "It was one of those things where you don't want to lose, so you kind of do whatever you have to do.

"We just kept fighting and I kept fighting."

Jeff Teague had 19 points and seven assists for Atlanta, helping the Hawks win their fourth straight game over Utah and move to 3-0 on their current road trip.

Horford made it possible with his big fourth quarter that snuffed out several Jazz rallies late in the game.

"He was good," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "We were running plays through him. When the shot wasn't there, he was passing the ball. He got everything within our offense. Guys were doing a good job of finding him. He's really playing at a high level now - an extremely high level."

Al Jefferson led Utah with 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Derrick Favors had 17 points and 15 rebounds. It wasn't enough to prevent the Jazz from losing their second straight home game and third straight contest overall.

Atlanta took control when the Jazz opened the second half by missing their first eight shots. The Hawks went on a 10-2 run and took a 66-50 lead on a pair of free throws by Horford.

The Hawks appeared to be on the verge of securing a blowout road victory when they extended their lead to 80-60 on a pair of free throws from Zaza Pachulia with 1:24 remaining in the quarter. But the Jazz finally came to life on offense toward the end of the third quarter, going on an 11-2 run that culminated in a three-point play by Favors to cut the Hawks' lead to 82-71.

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