Missing several of their top players, the Hawks were pushed around by the Grizzlies, 131-113, Wednesday at State Farm Arena.
Next up, the Hawks (27-25) will play the Bulls Friday, rounding out their four-game homestand.
Below are some takeaways from the loss:
1. On a four-game win streak and on the second night of a back-to-back, the injury report put the Hawks in a tough position. They were missing size without their starting center (Clint Capela, left Achilles soreness), starting power forward (John Collins, left ankle sprain) and Danilo Gallinari (left ankle soreness) off the bench. Rookie Onyeka Okongwu started in Capela’s absence and finished with a career-high 13 points, and his first career double-double with 11 rebounds. Over the past few games, Okongwu has started to show more and more progress on the court.
2. Without Capela and Collins, the Hawks majorly struggled on defense. They led by as much as 14 in the first quarter but fell behind as the Grizzlies (26-23) started to heat up, trailing 110-87 entering the fourth after being outscored 43-23 in the third. Grayson Allen scored 18 of his game-high 30 points in the third quarter alone. When the Hawks’ shooting cooled off in the second half, they didn’t get enough stops to stay in the game. “I just thought they were the more physical team tonight,” interim coach Nate McMillan said. “Defensively, we didn’t do a good job of keeping the ball in front of us. They were able to break our defense down, get into the paint, and pretty much get what they wanted. Points in the paint, kick-outs for 3′s, so we really never established ourselves on the defensive end of the floor.”
The Grizzlies added 17 fast-break points to the Hawks’ four.
3. Although the Hawks couldn’t stop the Grizzlies on any level, giving up 60 points in the paint, Memphis had ample success from the perimeter. The Grizzlies shot 42.5% from 3-point range (17-40), with six players making multiple 3′s. Dillon Brooks (3-for-5 from distance), Kyle Anderson (3-for-5) and Allen (3-for-5) led the way.
4. Bogdan Bogdanovic continued his hot shooting streak, leading the Hawks with 24 points, going 4-for-8 from 3-point range. Bogdanovic is averaging 21.8 points and shooting 56.4% on 3-pointers over the past six games.
5. The Hawks entered the night No. 2 in free throws made per game (20.1) and No. 4 in free throws attempted (24.8) but struggled to get to the line at the rate they usually do, going 13-for-15. Trae Young, who had 14 points and 11 assists for a double-double, is No. 2 in the league in free throws made per game (7.5) and No. 4 in free throws attempted (8.6) but went just 2-for-2 from the line in Wednesday’s loss.
Stat of the game
65.4% (what the Grizzlies shot from the floor in the third quarter, with the Hawks unable to get a stop)
Star of the game
Grayson Allen (led the Grizzlies with 30 points, 18 of which came in a third-quarter burst, which put the game out of reach)
“We can’t go out and not be the more desperate team. We haven’t earned anything. We haven’t won anything. And tonight was definitely a wake-up call.” (Solomon Hill on what the Hawks can learn from the loss)
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