MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A 20-hour trip and late arrival didn't
take the fight out of the Atlanta Hawks.
The Hawks made their way through a winter storm to get to
Memphis, but played hard for 48 minutes once they did before the
Grizzlies escaped with an 84-83 victory Saturday night.
"It was an unbelievable effort," Hawks coach Mike Woodson
said. "We came in and fought from beginning to end. … I would
loved to have seen us come out of here with a win."
The Hawks were stranded in Atlanta overnight as icy conditions
prevented them from flying out after Friday's loss to Miami. The
team arrived at the FedExForum with a police escort about 90
minutes before the 8 p.m. CST tip-off -- an hour later than
Tyronn Lue's fall-away 10-footer at the horn for Atlanta bounced
off the rim, sending the Hawks to their fourth straight loss.
"We had a chance to win that game," Lue said. "We tried to go
inside to Al (Harrington), but they switched to a different front,
and we couldn't get it in like we wanted to, so we had to attack
Despite the extended travel, Atlanta had enough energy to build
a third-quarter lead and hold an advantage until a 3 by Miller and
a jumper by Williams in the final 2:03 gave Memphis the lead for
"That three that Miller hit, I mean with the clock going down,
that was a big shot," Woodson said.
Shane Battier finished with 15 for Memphis, which has won seven
of its last nine.
Memphis players sensed the long trip may have given the Hawks a
boost, instead of worn them out.
"They are going to come out and try to prove something,"
Miller said. "It was one of the slugfests really. The bottom line
is we got the win."
The Grizzlies were effective early with a fast-paced transition
game, but seemed to abandon the strategy, settling for jumpers with
less success. That, coupled with poor ball-handling and ineffective
half-court offense, provided the Hawks with a seven-point lead
early in the final period.
Memphis, playing without injured forwards Pau Gasol and James
Posey, shot 62 percent in the first quarter, and had 18-2 scoring
advantage in the paint. The Grizzlies led 27-19 after the first
Delk and Josh Smith, who finished with 10 points, led a Hawks'
second-quarter rally. Delk hit three 3-pointers, and Smith
connected on three straight Atlanta buckets, including a thunderous
dunk. Another Smith dunk near the end of the quarter tied the game
Memphis still couldn't shake the Hawks through the third, and
Atlanta closed the quarter with five straight points for a 69-64
lead entering the fourth.
Atlanta managed just 14 points in the fourth quarter.
"We didn't have as good a defense in the second or third, but
in the fourth we stepped it up," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said.
"We had two turnovers there toward the end but were fortunate to
escape without any damage."
Before the game, the Hawks placed G Kenny Anderson on
the injured list with a strained left calf. The team activated
rookie G Royal Ivey to fill Anderson's roster spot. ...The
Grizzlies placed Posey on the injured list with a right Achilles
strain and activated G Antonio Burks. ... Hawks starting C Jason
Collier didn't make the trip because of illness. ... Walker
received a technical in the third period for swinging an elbow
after getting tangled with Jake Tsakalidis. ... Smith's went 5-of-5
from the field in the second period. ... Lue's six rebounds were a
season high, while his 17 points were two short of his best this
season. ... The win gave the Grizzlies their best January in
franchise history with 11 victories.
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