Grizzlies Snap Skid With Win Over Hawks
Memphis 98, Atlanta 87
MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 2 (Ticker) -- A pair of big runs and a game against the Atlanta Hawks were just what the Memphis Grizzlies needed.
Chucky Atkins scored 19 points and Mike Miller added 18 as the Grizzlies ended a three-game losing streak with a 98-87 victory over the Hawks.
"We are a different team when we make shots," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said.
"I thought that's what we needed to do, come out and make shots," Miller said. "It sure makes the game a lot easier when you do that."
The Grizzlies put the game out of reach in the first 6:35 of the third quarter as Atkins sparked a 22-3 run. Atkins, who finished 7-of-13 from the field Sunday, hit four 3-pointers in the surge as the Grizzlies extended the lead to 71-45.
"We were on a three-game losing streak, and we definitely thought we should've beat New Orleans (on Friday)," said Atkins, who'd missed a combined 20-of-27 shot attempts during Memphis' losing streak. "Going against a team like Atlanta today, a team who isn't playing for anything, we had to come out with our best effort and make sure we won the game."
The win enabled Memphis to maintain a 2 1/2-game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers (40-35) for sixth place in the Western Conference and clinched a winning record for the third consecutive season.
"We have to come out and sustain our energy for 48 minutes," Atkins said. "It's getting toward that time where we've got to start preparing for the playoffs and play like a team that's a playoff team."
Gasol finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Lorenzen Wright added 14 for Memphis, which has won six straight over Atlanta.
Josh Smith scored 26 points, including 17 in the first half for Atlanta (22-50), which has lost 11 of its last 13 games.
"We were down seven coming back after the half, and Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson hadn't sniffed a lick," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "You figure if you got those two guys going we've got a legitimate shot, but we just fell in the tank in the third quarter."
Williams and Johnson, who scored a combined one point in the first half on 0-of-9 shooting, finished with eight and five, respectively.