OK, now the Hawks are just trying to find interesting ways to win games.
Atlanta used a game-ending 12-2 run to dispose of Memphis, 96-86, Wednesday night at Philips Arena. The Hawks held an 11-point lead going into the final quarter before the lead completely slipped away. The Grizzlies fought back to tie the game four times, the final at 84 with 2:58.
That was enough of that.
Al Horford, who had a rough night shooting, hit a 19-foot jumper at the end of the shot clock following a timeout. Jeff Teague followed with a 3-pointer. Kyle Korver followed with another 3-pointer. In a matter of two minutes, the Hawks led by eight with 59 seconds left. Teague would score again for a 10-0 run.
Marc Gasol scored for the Grizzlies to end the drought. Paul Millsap ended the scoring with a pair of free throws.
“It was but not like that,” Horford said when asked if his key basket was a designed play. “I was supposed to get a different type of shot. The guy bumped me on the screen. Jeff (Teague) had to improvise. I saw that he was in trouble so I ran up, caught it and shot it. I was due. I missed so many shots that I normally make. I was happy to make that one.
The Eastern Conference leading Hawks (27-8, 15-3 home) have won six straight and 20 of their past 22 games on a remarkable run. They have won a franchise-record nine straight against the West as the Grizzlies entered with the third best record in the vaunted conference.
Teague had a game-high 25 points to lead five double-digit Hawks scorers. He added six assists and two steals, part of the Hawks’ 17 thefts, the most ever at Philips Arena. Teague has scored 20 or more points in six straight games, the longest streak of his career.
“Good question,” Teague said when asked why he took his 3-pointer rather than run time off the clock. “We’re just playing. It was the flow of the game, flow of the offense. Coach always says that if we see something out there that we can do, and we’ve got confidence in it, then do it. I felt confidence in that shot.”
Korver finished with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. He moved into sixth place on the franchise list for 3-pointers, surpassing Mike Bibby. Pero Antic added 13 points, Horford had 12 and Millsap had 11 to round out the double-digit scorers. Horford started the game making 1 of 9 from the field.
Korver’s dagger with less than a minute left came after the Grizzlies scrambled on defense. It whipped the crowd of 17,126 into a frenzy.
“You never want to take a bad one in that situation,” Korver said of the back-to-back 3-pointers from him and Teague. “We both felt confident taking the shot; both of us were pretty open. We work on those … it’s one of those ones where if you make it, it’s a back breaker. If you miss, it gives them another chance, but … if you make it, it’s a back breaker.”
The Hawks snapped a two-game losing streak to the Grizzlies (25-10, 11-6 road). Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists. The Hawks held Gasol to 16 points and seven rebounds.
The Hawks played without reserve center Elton Brand, who missed the game due to a death in the family.
The Hawks next travel to the Pistons Friday night.
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