- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 21, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Dennis Schroder was unstoppable on the offensive end but felt like he could do more.

He asked Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer for a defensive switch so he could guard Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell down the stretch.

“I want to prove myself on the defensive end … against the best guys,” said Schroder, who scored a career-high 41 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter, as the Hawks stunned the Utah Jazz 99-94 on Tuesday night.

Dewayne Dedmon had 15 points and 15 rebounds to help the Eastern Conference-worst Hawks snap their six-game skid and end Utah’s winning streak at nine. Taurean Prince made four free throws in the final 11 seconds to clinch the victory.

The Jazz, who won 21 of 23 games in between losses to the Hawks, made their final field goal on Rudy Gobert’s basket with 2:33 to play and missed their last five shots. Mitchell missed his last four shots as Schroder shadowed him.

“Dennis was special tonight offensively,” Budenholzer said. “He had a great floor game and did everything tonight. He locked in on Donovan Mitchell the last three or four minutes of the game.”

Schroder scored on a variety of drives and bested his previous career high of 34 points, set in a 110-105 loss to Brooklyn on Jan. 12.

“It was amazing but it’s even sweeter that we got the win,” said Schroder, who was the first Hawk to top 40 points since Joe Johnson in 2008. “We’re going to celebrate.”

With 2:07 to play and after another of his driving layups, Schroder flailed his arm and caught Ricky Rubio with a hand to the face. He was assessed a flagrant-1 foul and Rubio hit both free throws. Joe Ingles followed with two foul shots for Utah’s final lead.

Mitchell scored 24 points, Rubio had 23 and Gobert had 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Jazz.

“It was an off-night,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “When you’re not making shots, you’ve got to figure out other ways to score. But we weren’t very good at the rim either.”

Mike Muscala’s 3-pointer gave the Hawks a 70-69 lead early in the fourth quarter. After the Jazz responded with an 8-0 run, capped by Gobert’s dunk, the Hawks edged back in front on Dedmon’s dunk and Schroder’s 3-pointer to make it 87-83.

After the Hawks beat the Jazz 104-90 on Jan. 22, Utah’s record was nine games under .500 and many players have pointed to that loss as a pivotal moment in the season.

“I don’t think anybody saw what was coming,” Budenholzer said before the game about Utah’s streak.

On that same trip, the Jazz started a remarkable turnaround that has launched them into the middle of the Western Conference playoff race. But the Hawks still give them trouble.

“We came to play and came to win,” Dedmon said.

The Hawks held the Jazz to 32 percent shooting in the first half, but only shot 34 percent themselves and trailed 42-41 at the break. Schroder and Rubio each had 15 points.


Hawks: Prince scored 11 points. … Kent Bazemore, Atlanta’s third-leading scorer, missed his fourth game with a right knee bruise. … The Hawks, second in the league in causing turnovers, forced the Jazz into 16 miscues and converted them into 26 points. … Damion Lee had his first career start.

Jazz: Derrick Favors sat out with left knee soreness. Utah is 2-3 without Favors. … The Jazz went 6-for-33 from beyond the 3-point line. … Mitchell was 9-of-28 from the field and 1-for-10 from 3-point range.


Dedmon applauded how aggressive he and his teammates were - and the Jazz noticed. “This is a physical team. They held us the whole game and we had to be able to play through it and we did at times but, for the most part, we didn’t,” Gobert said.


Hall of Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone attended the game to support Stockton’s son David, who is the midst of a 10-day contract with the Jazz after playing most of the season with Reno of the G League. David’s mother, Nada, and his siblings often played pickup games on the arena floor while the famous point guard got treatment, showered and dressed during his 19-year career in Utah.


Hawks: Continue their trip at Sacramento on Thursday night.

Jazz: Visit the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.


More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

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