(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks look to stay atop the Southeast Division when they open a three-game western trip Friday against the Utah Jazz.
The Hawks are just one game ahead of Washington for division bragging rights and will also visit the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers. They are 9-5 on the road and have won four in a row away from home.
Atlanta posted a 109-101 victory over the LeBron James-less Cleveland Cavaliers its last time out on Tuesday and was led by Paul Millsap's 26 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Jeff Teague added 23 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and three steals.
"Pretty good, but we can't relax," said Millsap. "Still a lot of games left."
Kyle Korver and Mike Scott scored 19 and 12 points, respectively, for the Hawks, who won for the 16th time in the last 18 tries and shot 50.6 percent. The Hawks scored 31 points off 20 Cleveland turnovers and are second in the Eastern Conference behind the Toronto Raptors (24-8).
The Hawks are 6-2 against the Western foes and have won five in a row against teams from the conference.
Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll (illness) is questionable against Utah and he is averaging 11.5 points and 5.7 rebounds.
Utah enters Friday's game having won five of its last seven games and recorded a 100-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.
Gordon Hayward scored 11 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and Trey Burke added a season-high 26 points for the Jazz, who closed the game on a 16-2 run and finished with a 43-34 advantage in rebounds. Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter scored 15 and 14 points, respectively.
"It was really just defense. It seems like everybody made a play on the defensive end whether they were the actual player that deflected the ball and stole it, or someone pressured the pass, or someone denied the pass," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of the fourth quarter. "It was the defense that created a couple easy buckets and gave us a boost."
Hayward scored 19 points during the important second half and is averaging 19.8 ppg in his previous 12 games. He has scored no less than 14 points over that stretch.
Prior to the Minnesota game, the Jazz announced guard Alec Burks will be out the remainder of the season due to surgery on his left shoulder. Burks signed a multi-year contract extension on Oct. 31 and posted an average of 13.9 ppg.
Utah is allowing exactly 100.0 points on defense and will face an Atlanta offense that is posting 102.2 ppg. Favors, who is averaging a career-best 15.6 points per game, and Kanter will bang inside with Millsap and possibly Al Horford. Horford is probable Friday due to an illness.
The Hawks downed the Jazz, 100-97, on Nov. 12 at Philips Arena and were led by former Jazz forward Millsap's 30 points and 17 rebounds. Favors had 20 points in that one for Utah, which has lost seven in a row and 10 of the last 11 games in this series.
Atlanta in unbeaten in its last four trips to Salt Lake City. Utah, though, is 31-14 all-time as the host in this series.