Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/4

Game 1: Friday, January 4th
Game 2: Monday, March 4th

Hawks 95

(22-37, 14-13 home)

    Coverage: FSS

    7:30 PM ET, March 4, 2002

    Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MEM 18 22 15 2176
    ATL 29 19 25 2295

    Top Performers

    Memphis: S. Battier 20 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Atlanta: T. Kukoc 24 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Kukoc matches season high with 24 points

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Toni Kukoc loves hitting jumpers and weaving passes to open teammates. Monday night, he had an even better time watching Shareef Abdur-Rahim rest.

    "That's a great thing," Kukoc said. "That always helps, especially going into back-to-back nights."

    Kukoc matched a season high with 24 points and Abdur-Rahim had 23 as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Memphis Grizzlies 95-76 for their second consecutive victory.

    Memphis has lost eight in a row, 10 of 11 and 21 of 24. Dropping to 0-7 overall in Atlanta, the Grizzlies lowered their Western Conference-worst road record to 6-26.

    The Hawks' lead was comfortable enough that Abdur-Rahim, facing his former team for the first time at home, didn't play in the fourth quarter. After Atlanta rallied to beat Cleveland on Saturday night, Abdur-Rahim knows the Cavaliers will be ready when they face the Hawks again.

    "It's a good way to end the game," Abdur-Rahim said. "We don't get many nights like this, so we have to sit back and enjoy it."

    Atlanta has won three of four overall and eight of 13.

    Jason Terry, coming off a 1-for-14 performance Saturday, hit a 3-pointer with 3:15 left in the third quarter as the Hawks began to pull away for the second time. After making it 63-49, Terry left five seconds later after picking up his fourth foul.

    Kukoc, a reserve forward, followed with consecutive 3-pointers from the left corner to give the Hawks their first 18-point lead since the second quarter. Kukoc, who went 9-for-11 in scoring 23 Saturday, began the fourth with a three-point play before hitting another 3 that put Atlanta ahead by 22.

    Following a pair of free throws, Kukoc's 3-pointer from the top of the key made it 84-61. He finished with 7-for-8 shooting, including all four attempts on 3s, and hit each of his six free throws. Kukoc scored 21 points in the second half.

    "I can really feel my legs under me now," said Kukoc, in his seventh game back after missing 18 with a broken right wrist. "I ran a lot while I was out, and it's made a difference now that I'm back."

    Shane Battier led the Grizzlies with 20 points, ending a six-game stretch in which he scored no more than 18.

    The injury-marred Grizzlies again were without point guards Jason Williams and Brevin Knight.

    "We can't shoot, bottom line," Memphis coach Sidney Lowe said. "Wide open shots -- we can't score 80 points. It's trickling down to the free throws. We have 31 attempts, but only make 18. We don't have enough weapons, which makes it extremely difficult."

    Atlanta led by as many as 18 points in the second quarter, but Eddie Gill's 16-foot jumper on the right side made it 48-42 early in the third. After the Hawks went up by 10, Battier answered with a 3-pointer from the right corner.

    "There are no easy losses in this league," said Battier, a rookie guard. "It was another game where we were short-handed. In this stretch, we have been undermanned, and we've lost. We can't expect to win when we shoot in the low 40s."

    Game notes

    Williams, out with ingrown toenails, is likely to see a specialist this week. The fourth-year point guard has missed seven consecutive games and 15 of the last 16. ... Kukoc, who missed 23 games with injuries, also scored 24 points in a Nov. 29 victory at Cleveland. ... Lorenzen Wright, who joined Knight in the trade that sent Abdur-Rahim to the Hawks, had a team-high seven rebounds in his return to Atlanta.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press