Utah has won nine of its last 12 games, including Friday’s 97-88 victory in Cleveland. Raja Bell scored 23 points and Andrei Kirilenko added 21 as the Jazz improved to 2-2 on their trip and moved within one-half game of Denver for eighth place in the West.
“This was a big win because we’ve squandered some opportunities of late, but put this one away,” said Bell, who finished two points shy of his season high.
Bell hit 10-of-16 shots, helping Utah to a 51 percent shooting night.
“We know coming in this was going to be tough because (the Cavaliers) have been the hottest team in the league,” he said.
The Jazz are trying to reach the playoffs for a 21st consecutive year.
Stephen Jackson led the Hawks with 17 points on 7-for-21 shooting. Bobby Sura added 16 points and 12 rebounds.
“Everybody looked kind of tired tonight,” Jackson said. “It was one of those games where we were flat. We couldn’t hit any shots.”
Last week, the Hawks scored 83 points in the second half of a 138-124 victory over the Wizards in Atlanta. Friday they managed only 84.
“We are a jump-shooting team so we need those shots going down,” Hawks coach Terry Stotts said.
STANDINGS (through March 18): Jazz - 7th place, 12 GB, Midwest Division. Hawks - 7th place, 28 1/2 GB, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Jazz - Kirilenko, 16.7 ppg and 8.1 rpg; Arroyo, 5 apg. Hawks - Jackson, 16.9 ppg; Joel Przybilla, 6.5 rpg; Terry, 5.3 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Jazz, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 10; Jazz, 92-71. At Salt Lake City, Arroyo scored 14 points and Kirilenko added 12 as Utah coach Jerry Sloan earned his 800th career win with the Jazz. The Hawks lost their 10th straight visit to Salt Lake City.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Jazz - 12-23 on the road; Hawks - 14-19 at home.