Postgame Report: Grizzlies start three-game road trip with convincing win over Hawks
Key Stat of the Night
- The Grizzlies outscored the Hawks in points in the paint (56-40), fast break points (18-3) and in bench points (72-36).
Key Run of the Night
- The Grizzlies used a 19-6 run to stretch their lead to 44-33 with 4:56 remaining in the second quarter
The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Atlanta Hawks 127-88 on Monday night inside State Farm Arena.
The Grizzlies connected on a season-high 21 three-pointers as they put together one of their strongest offensive performances of the season. Memphis started the game slow, missing their first 11 field goal attempts of the night. The Grizzlies defense kept them in the game early on, limiting the Hawks to 31 percent shooting, including 20 percent from the three-point line. Memphis’ second-unit entered the game and made an immediate impact, lifting the Grizzlies to a 24-23 lead after one quarter after play. The Grizzlies used a 19-6 run to stretch their lead to 44-33 with 4:56 remaining in the second quarter following a dunk from Ja Morant. The Hawks were able to close the quarter scoring 14 of the last 17 points to trim the lead to 52-49 at half.
Memphis’ offense found their stride in the third quarter, shooting 57.1 percent from the floor to stretch their lead to 84-68 heading into the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies erupted for 43 points in the final period, the most points they have scored in a fourth quarter this season. Memphis shot 8-of-11 from three-point range in the period, highlighted by Anthony Tolliver, who connected on four three-pointers in his first game wearing a Grizzlies uniform. Memphis exploded on a 32-9 run to stretch their lead to 39 points at 116-77 with 3:29 remaining before cruising their second consecutive win. The Grizzlies limited the Hawks to 32.3 percent shooting while outrebounding Atlanta 60-43. The Grizzlies bench erupted for a huge performance, outscoring the Hawks second-unit 72-36.
The Grizzlies had nine players score in double-figures Monday night, setting a new franchise record. Gorgui Dieng posted a double-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and an assist in 26 minutes of action. Jonas Valanciunas posted his team-leading 30th double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds on 6-of-7 shooting. Josh Jackson added 16 points, four assists and three rebounds in 24 minutes. Tyus Jones totaled 15 points, nine assists and four steals on 6-of-10 shooting. John Konchar posted a career-high 10 points, seven rebounds and an assist as the Grizzlies moved to 30-31 on the season.
Trae Young, who finished with 19 points, two assists and one block, was held to only 5-of-17 shooting for Atlanta. Kevin Huerter added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists on 5-of-14 shooting. John Collins added 12 points and three rebounds in 31 minutes. Jeff Teague added 12 points and three rebounds off the bench for Atlanta as the Hawks fell to 19-44 on the season.
The Grizzlies continue their three game road trip as they visit the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. Fans can watch the game on FOX Sports Southeast or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
On what happened in the second half to win the gameJust more urgency. Great win by the group. We were getting great shots to start the game but I felt like the urgency on the defensive end wasn’t really there. I had to call two quick timeouts and then we got momentum. I think we built a 14-point lead in the first half but then it whittled down to three at halftime. We didn’t closeout, fouled a little too much. I think they had 14 second-chance points in that first half. I just challenged the guys that we have to be a lot better with our urgency, our activity has got to be a whole lot better, the standard that we’re talking about coming out of the break. Obviously, we did it the other night against the Lakers. We kind of trended downward in the first half, but the guys locked in. Their activity, keeping them off the free throw line, limiting their second-chance points and then we just kind of found a groove. Our activity as we’ve talked all season long, got out, pace, the ball was advancing really quick, the ball was moving, 30 assists, I think we ended up with like 70-plus points from our bench which is huge. Contributions from everyone, but it started with the defensive end. As I hit them after the game, I said this is something that you have to build off of. We can’t wait again. We have to come out from the jump even if we’re missing shots. Proud of the guys, the way they competed. Obviously a really good win for us.
On having nine players score in double figures and taking advantage of their opportunityThat’s what we’ve relied on all season long. It’s been a growth process for a lot of different guys. Different guys are stepping up. John is playing a bigger role, we obviously signed Anthony Tolliver, excited about adding him to the group. The fact that we can rely on our depth, different lineups that we’re having to play. I think De’Anthony had a slow start, but then he had a nice second half. When you get contributions from everybody, double-digit scoring, the 30 assists again, starting to let it fly, make some three’s, it’s just that work that they’re putting in every single day. But again, the defensive activity: eight blocks, keeping them off the boards in that second half was big for us.
On what was said to the team after missing 11 of their first 12 shotsI think it’s a credit to our guys. They got out in a slump there. I just told them we were getting great looks; I think they felt it too. The ball was moving around, we were getting pieces of the paint, we were getting open threes. But then they recognized that our defense was kind of slipping a little bit. I think it was just turning the page, getting more active defensively, continuing to play the right way. They’ve been doing that for the majority of the season where they just trust that. Get a couple of shots to fall and just break free from there.
On a big win tonightIt was much needed. We just had to carry the momentum into this game on the road. It’s tough winning on the road, we were just trying to do whatever we could to get a win…Around this time, you have to be full-go at all times…credit to my teammates, they played well tonight, and got us a win.
On playing against TraeIt was nice, first time playing against each other. A special talent, I’m pretty sure everybody knows what he has been doing, torching the league right now. He’s a great guy off the court, he’s my guy. He’s just one of those next-generation games. Both of us are just trying to show that we can play with the top players in the league. We’re both just trying to continue to get better, keep doing what we’re doing, and keep leading our team.
On playing in front of friends and familyIt was good. I only get so many games like this, close to where I’m from…It’s definitely a blessing. I’m grateful for it, I’m thankful for everything. I appreciate that a lot, but I’m glad we were able to come out with a win.
On getting another chance in the NBAI feel like everybody here is here for a reason, because they have been good enough to be here and play here. So, you just have to find where you fit in, and I feel like that’s what I’ve been trying to do since I’ve been here. Just find a role to play.
On playing with JaIt’s amazing. You guys see it every night…The thing that impresses me the most is his vision and how unselfish he is. Everyone knows he is super talented offensively, but he still goes out of his way to share the ball with everybody. Just the ability to see everybody that is open, it’s really rare, especially in young guys.” (On the balanced scoring) “Just moving the ball, you know, that’s how you are supposed to play. I feel like any team in the NBA would tell you that’s their ideal basketball game, is having seven or eight or maybe even nine guys in double figures. It’s just a recipe for winning. It means everybody is sharing the ball and guys are knocking down shots.
- Memphis placed nine players in double figures.
- Gorgui Dieng posted a double-double and led the Grizzlies in scoring off the bench with 17 points (6-8 FGs), adding 10 rebounds,
- one assist, one steal and one block in 26 minutes.
- Jonas Valanciunas notched a double-double of 15 points (6-7 FGs) and a game-high 15 rebounds, adding two assists in 25 minutes.
Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2019-20 Season Tickets can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com. Single Game Tickets are available for purchase at the FedExForum Box Office, ticketmaster.com, online at grizzlies.com or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX.