With everyone focused on Dwight Howard making his debut in a Hawks uniform, Walter Tavares of the Atlanta Hawks stole the show with an impressive outing of 15 points and 10 boards while shooting 7 of 8 from the field in a 104-83 win for Atlanta.
Zach Randolph once again came off the bench for Memphis and made his presence known immediately as he knocked down a jumper within his first 30 seconds on the court for his first points of the game. Gasol and Howard were involved in some chippy play early throughout the first quarter, but you have to love the competitive nature of these two, especially during a preseason game. Schroder led the Hawks to a 49-46 lead at the half with nine points, three assists, and three boards while DJ Stephens led the Grizzlies with 11 points and seven rebounds. Dwight in his first action with Atlanta had six points and seven boards at the half, and for the Grizz Randolph and Carter added eight a piece in the first 24 minutes. Memphis and Atlanta each exchanged their share of runs throughout the first two quarters of the game as it was fairly competitive up until halftime.
The Hawks used a huge third quarter to pull away from the hometown Grizzlies as they outscored Memphis 32-20, increasing the lead to 15 at the end of three. It was more of the same in the the fourth for Memphis as they only put up 17 points as the Hawks pulled away even more. The Grizzlies struggled mightily to score the ball in the second half as they were only shooting 36.6% from the field at the end of the game and 16.7% from behind the arc (sound familiar?).
Although Memphis did lose by 21 points, Grizzlies DJ Stephens and Troy Williams turned in some pretty impressive games with Stephens putting up 13 points, eight rebounds, and four steals, while Williams led the Grizzlies with 15 points off the bench.
This was a tough loss for Memphis, but it’s only preseason and coaches obviously aren’t playing their best guys at all times like we are accustomed to in the regular season. With that being said, Conley, TA, and Parsons all didn’t suit up tonight as Coach Fizdale gave most of the minutes to the younger guys. The Grizzlies fall to 1-1 in preseason play as their next game will be on October 11th against Philadelphia.