Atkins, Grizzlies Blast Warriors
Memphis 100, Golden State 75
MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 4 (Ticker) -- Chucky Atkins and the Memphis Grizzlies raced right past the struggling Golden State Warriors.
Atkins scored 14 of his 22 points in the first half and All-Star Pau Gasol added 16 and seven rebounds as the Grizzlies cruised to a 100-75 triumph over the slumping Warriors, who lost their fifth straight game.
Holding a 33-27 lead with 6 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter, the Grizzlies took control of the contest with a 16-2 run to close the half.
"The second quarter was the difference," said Atkins, who shot 7-of-15 overall. "Our second unit gave us great energy to open the second quarter. When this team gets in sync quick and we're locking down on defense, it creates a lot more opportunities on the other end for us."
Golden State managed just nine points on 2-of-18 shooting in the second quarter, a new franchise record for the lowest field goal percentage by any Memphis opponent.
"We got in a real hole tonight and couldn't get out," Golden State coach Mike Montgomery said. "In the second quarter we lost our momentum. At the start of the game we were able to get stuff, but then we got stuck in bad situations."
The Grizzlies entered the game with the league's second best defense allowing just 88.9 points per game. They held a team below 80 points for the 20th time.
"Any time you can hold a team like that on defense, it makes the game easier for everybody," Atkins said. "We count on the defense to make plays. That's what's going to win us games in the playoffs. We just have to keep playing hard and finish games and we'll have a chance."
Bobby Jackson scored 10 points off the bench for the Grizzlies, who shot 45 percent (35-of-78) and made 9-of-21 3-pointers.
"We have a lot of guys who can come in the game and make shots for us," said Jackson, who shot 2-of-5 from the arc. "This was a good win. We just all have to be ready to play hard come playoff time."
Derek Fisher scored 17 points and rookie reserve Ike Diogu added 10 for Golden State (30-43), which remained seven games behind Sacramento for the Western Conference's final playoff spot with nine to play.
Jason Richardson scored just nine points on 4-of-15 shooting for the Grizzlies, who shot 34 percent (24-of-76).