Editor’s note: This is the debut piece from our newest staff writer, Steven Zymkowitz. Steven is also a member of the staff over at Hook ‘em Headlines, FanSided’s site dedicated to the University of Texas. Welcome, Steven!
In a matchup that featured two teams without their best players, the Hawks received a team high 21 points from Paul Millsap and posted a 16-0 run which stretched over two different quarters. Unfortunately, the Hawks still fell late on the road, 108-101, against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Shorthanded on the front line without Al Horford, the Hawks were also without rookie, Pero Antic. The situation with the Hawks big men, got worse when Millsap found himself on the bench with early foul trouble, picking up his second foul just 3:22 into the contest. The Hawks bench stepped up early, Elton Brand and Mike Scott scored 13 of the Hawks first 17 points and 18 of the teams first 26. Brand finished with eight points, all in the first quarter on 4-4 shooting from the field, and Scott finished with 15.
In the battle of upper-tier point guards, Mike Conley finished with a game-high 21 points and 13 assists, while Jeff Teague countered with 20 points of his own, however the team was -11 when Teague was on the floor. It was a much better game than Teague has produced in the recent past, but Conley has been red-hot, and that continued.
After trailing 21-18 at the end of the first quarter, the Hawks went without a field goal from the 8:55 mark in the second quarter to the 4:16 mark in the second quarter.
Kyle Korver extended his NBA record for consecutive games with a three pointer to 107 in a row when he made his first three-point attempt of the game at the 8:15 mark of the third quarter. Korver would only attempt one more three in the game, while the majority of his work came from inside the arc, finishing with nine points on 10 shots.
Courtney Lee hit a fade-away two point shot as time ran out in the first half giving the Grizzlies a 48-41 advantage into halftime.
The second half was truly a game of runs, Memphis took control during a 10-0 run that lasted 2:25 on the clock, and with four minutes left in the third quarter, the Grizzlies had their biggest lead of the ball game, 77-64 after Mike Miller made a layup. However the Hawks would bounce back; after single made free throws from both Paul Milsap and Shelvin Mack, Scott drilled his third three pointer of the game that cut the score to 77-69. The momentum continued to swing the Hawks way as Mack nailed a three pointer from just inside mid-court as time expired in the third quarter, giving the Hawks an 8-0 run of their own and cutting the deficit to just five to start the fourth quarter.
The run continued into the fourth quarter. After a Scott layup, DeMarre Carroll made back-to-back three balls stretching the Hawks run to 13-0 and giving the Hawks the lead 80-77, capping a 16-0 run. Carroll would finish with 15 points on 5-9 shooting from the field.
After the 16-0 run, though, the Hawks seemingly ran out of gas, getting out scored by 11 points over the final eight minutes of play. The Hawks had a chance with four minutes left when the Grizzlies held a 95-90 advantage in the contest, but Mike Miller hit a three pointer, extending the Grizzlies lead to eight, which they would not relinquish.
With the loss, the Hawks fall to 20-18 and will next play again on Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets in the much publicized London tilt at 3:00 pm ET.