Hawks Spoil John Collins Homecoming In Jazz Loss

Feb 27, 2024, 8:41 PM | Updated: Feb 28, 2024, 10:52 am

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz fell to the Atlanta Hawks 124-97 in a less-than-ideal start to their three-game Eastern Conference road trip.

The Hawks jumped out to a 12-0 start to open the and never trailed at any point in the contest.

Collin Sexton led the Jazz with 22 points, while Jalen Johnson led Atlanta with 22 of his own.

Difficult Homecoming For John Collins

It’s hard to imagine a more difficult outing for John Collins in his return to Atlanta scoring just five points on 2-8 shooting while committing five turnovers in 23 minutes on the floor.

The former Hawks forward got off to a slow start committing four turnovers in the opening six minutes of the game as Atlanta built an insurmountable lead.

“John played hard tonight.” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “I think early in the game, obviously, he had some sloppy turnovers which put him behind the curve a little bit, but  his approach and effort every night is something that we’ve really leaned on.”

The Jazz committed 18 turnovers, leading to 28 Hawks points, including a 10-2 advantage in points off turnovers in the first quarter.

“We’re sloppy with our execution which leads to us being sloppy with the ball,” Hardy said.

Collins added 10 rebounds, two assists, and a block in his return to Atlanta where he spent the first six seasons of his career.

Loss Could Have Big Impact On Jazz Summer

With Tuesday’s loss the Jazz own a 27-32 record, and now sit just 0.5 games ahead of the Hawks at 26-32.

That half-game represents the difference between the Jazz conveying their 2024 first-round draft pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder, or holding into it for their second top-ten selection in as many years.

In 2021, the Jazz traded this year’s first-rounder, protected 1-10, to the Thunder to dump the contract of veteran Derrick Favors.

That means as long as the Jazz finish with one of the 10 worst records in the league, they’ll likely keep their own pick in June.

But, if that pick falls between 11-30, it heads to Oklahoma City.

With 23 games left in the season, the Jazz own the league’s 11th-worst record but will need to have one of the ten-worst records in the NBA to have a realistic shot at holding onto their selection.

If the Jazz were to finish the season with the league’s 10th-worst record, they’d have an 80.4 percent of holding onto their own pick.

If they finished with the league’s 11th-worst record, those odds would plummet to just 9.4 percent, coinciding with the likelihood that they would win the lottery, and land a top-four pick in the draft.

The Jazz and Hawks will face each other again in Salt Lake City on March 15.

Utah Jazz Next Broadcast

The Jazz will face the Magic on Thursday at 5 pm MST in Orlando. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Hawks Spoil John Collins Homecoming In Jazz Loss