Postgame Report: Hawks surge in fourth quarter to beat Grizzlies 91-87
Key Stat of the Night
- The Hawks shot 40 percent from 3-point range while the Grizzlies were limited to 22.2 percent (10-of-45) from deep. The Grizzlies’ second-unit was held to (.095) from 3-point range.
Key Run of the Night
- The Grizzlies went on an 11-2 run to open the fourth quarter, but the Hawks immediately responded with a 16-2 run of their own to even the score. It was Hawks rookie Sharife Cooper that put the Grizzlies away in the final two minutes, as Atlanta finished off a 19-5 run and earned the victory. Cooper accounted for 12 of the Hawks’ final 14 points.
Sharife Cooper and Skylar Mays sparked a fourth-quarter scoring run to help the Atlanta Hawks beat the Memphis Grizzlies 91-87 Saturday at FedExForum. It marked the Hawks’ first win this preseason and the Grizzlies’ first loss.
Cooper was the X-factor for the Hawks in the fourth quarter, scoring all 10 of his points in the final frame. Mays also made both of his shots to help Atlanta close the game on a 19-5 run. John Collins notched a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Desmond Bane led the Grizzlies with 18 points while Brandon Clarke and Santi Aldama scored 16 points each. Xavier Tillman Sr. finished with six points and 11 rebounds.
The frontcourt duo of Tillman and Clarke found success early with the two scoring the team’s first nine points before a De’Anthony Melton 3-pointer. Rookies Ziaire Williams and Aldama came off the bench to help launch a 14-6 run as the Grizzlies took a 22-21 lead after one quarter.
The Grizzlies used quick ball movement to spread the wealth on offense and keep a 40-37 lead over the Hawks at halftime. Bane lit up the third quarter with 13 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting, but Bogdan Bogdanovic’s 11 points in the quarter helped tie the score at 64 at the end of the third period.
Memphis scored seven straight points to take a 10-point lead (82-72), the largest of the game by either team, with 6:59 remaining in the game before Atlanta’s final burst.
The Grizzlies will be back in FedExForum to face the Detroit Pistons on Monday, Oct. 11, with tip-off set for 7 p.m. CT. Fans can tune in to Bally Sports Southeast or listen live on 92.9 FM ESPN.
Overall thoughts on game and on Santi Aldama:I loved our guy’s competitiveness; offensively we shot 101 shots, 45 threes since the ball wasn’t falling tonight. Some were rushed, but some were in rhythm. Great looks just didn’t fall. Just love how the guys played on the offensive end. Give the Hawks credit, they got on fire in that third quarter and had some momentum a lot of guys played well for them in that second half. But our defense was really good, I thought for the most part throughout the game we held them to 91 points, that’s a standard of ours. The field goal percentages, we kept them off the free throw line in the second half. So all the things we talked about at halftime, the adjustments and things we emphasized guys did great. So really encouraged by what we saw. A lot of guys played well. Really proud of Santi, getting a lot of opportunity tonight and made the most of it. His cutting ability, but also just his physicality around the rim and his size and getting rebounds, and protecting the rim, altering shots. He was really good and I thought he did pretty good job one-on-one too.
On Santi’s career so far:Learning good habits on and off the floor. He’s a great kid. He’s a really hard worker and really smart too. Over the course of his career, you will see a lot of his intelligence come out on the floor in a lot of different ways. It’s just learning good habits. I think in Summer League his head was spinning; he really just dove in, just extra work, film, asking questions. We talk about that with a lot of our new guys, but him in particular, it’s really paid off. He’s just been more comfortable day after day. You hit him with one thing he learns it pretty quick, absorbs it and he’s actually able to get better immediately the next time around. He just has natural instincts on the floor; he’s really gifted, that’s why we fell in love with him at the draft process. Just so proud of him, learning habits one day at a time. Wasn’t meaning to be a pro, but now you’re a pro-basketball player - different schedule, different lifestyle - he’s grasping that really well and with the basketball stuff he picks it up, as I said and is able to go out there and get better the next day. Make that your priority, go out there and let your natural instincts take over and just keep learning. Learning one day at a time and go out there and be the player you can be and obviously tonight is a pretty good example of what’s to come with him.
On Desmond Bane being comfortable on the court following summer league:I’m a broken record when I say just the more we can have playmakers at all five positions out there. That was intentional for him to be pretty much our point guard, primary handler during summer league and then tonight obviously shooting eight threes, he’s going to have those off the ball and on the ball in some of the sets we run for him, tonight is a great example of that. Running some of the offense through him. His ability to get on the full court and attack downhill and some of his playmaking, he is just taking the next steps. Summer league was a big boost for him, big confidence boost, he learned a lot, naturally, you make some mistakes at times, but he’s another guy that just learns from his mistakes and just gets better and can see the game really well. Really proud of what he did this summer and now it’s translating into an increased role going into this year hopefully.
What has been going well for you this season:I think we have just been aggressive this season. Obviously, Grayson is gone. So there is a little more opportunity for both of us. I mean, just being more aggressive and looking for our shot. We have a good team- a lot of good guys around us. We are getting a lot of opportunities, it’s just about taking advantage of them.
Do you feel like the team has gone to a new level and is just that much better:I think so. Obviously, when we are making shots we can make them in a variety of ways. Get out, push the ball. I think we just have variety to our team. You kind of know what you are getting out of Ja, Jaren, and those guys.
You look a lot more comfortable with the ball in your hands this year. What do you want to transfer from summer league to the season:Pretty much, yeah. Everything that I have been doing- being able to bring the ball off the floor, hit it big, and play off of it. Whether it is off the catch, off the dribble, off a cut. Just being versatile. That’s the only way for me to put it. Last year I was playing my role and doing what I could while learning a lot. I’ve learned a lot, but I still have a lot more to learn from. Definitely I am a lot more comfortable in a lot of different situations this year.
What’s up with the hops? People are saying you have sneaky hops:I hope so, I mean, who knows? I used to-back in college I was the high flyer in the layup lines. I was throwing it up more than I was getting it.
What was going well for you tonight:Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. For sure this was the best game, for now. I think everything clicked. The game has slowed down. Now we have been practicing for quite a while. I think it is just understanding the game and getting to know the guys a bit better. I knew it was only a matter of time. I am really excited for what’s coming.
Taylor said that you are a quick learner. Is there anything that you took from summer league that you have been able to implement into the preseason:Yeah a lot of things. I learned from summer league a lot. I think the main thing is the pace of the game and understanding where my shots are coming from. On defense, we need to talk and communicate a lot. I think BC [Brandon Clarke] and I did a lot of talking tonight. So yeah, I think just taking these games, watching them and just thinking about where I should have been. Yeah I have learned a lot and we have a great staff and layers to help me out. That helps too.
- The Memphis Grizzlies will finish their preseason home schedule inside FedExForum on Monday against Detroit.
- Entering tonight, the Grizzlies were outscoring their opponents by an average of 19.0 points in the first halves.
- Memphis came in outrebounding its opponents by 19.5 per game (55.0 to 35.5)… The Grizzlies finished with 55 rebounds again tonight… Memphis ranked eighth in the NBA last season in rebounds per game (50.3).
- The Grizzlies and Hawks split the 2020-21 season series, 1-1, with the road team winning each game.
- Memphis out-scored Atlanta 45-32 in points in the paint... last season the Grizzlies finished fourth in the NBA in points in the paint with 55.0 per game.
- Desmond Bane led the Grizzlies with 18 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and a block. Bane was 5-for-5 in the third quarter for 13 points. Bane entered tonight shooting 55.6% from long range this preseason.
- Brandon Clarke rung up 16 points with six rebounds, three assists and two blocks on 7-of-11 shooting.
- Santi Aldama scored 16 points (7-of-14 FG) with nine rebounds and an assist.
- Xavier Tillman Sr. finished with six points and 11 rebounds to go with four assists and two steals.
- John Collins and Danillo Gallinari both recorded double-doubles as Collins put together 16 points and 12 rebounds while Gallinari notched 11 points and 10 rebounds.