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Grizzlies remain undefeated in preseason, ground the Hawks

Memphis made their return to FedExForum following a months-long hiatus.

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Atlanta Hawks v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

For the first time since March, the Memphis Grizzlies took the court at FedExForum. Their opponent was the Atlanta Hawks, a new and improved bunch with postseason aspirations. Here’s what transpired:

First Quarter:

The opening frame was a slugfest between two of the league’s most talented up-and-coming floor generals in Trae Young and Ja Morant. The pair of point guards seemingly took turns tearing up the opposition with dribble-penetration and playmaking wizardry. Young finished the period with seven points and three assists while Morant accumulated nine points and three dimes. The quarter ended in a near stalemate, as the Hawks led Memphis 34-32 at the end of one.

Second Quarter:

NBA: Preseason-Atlanta Hawks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Dillon Brooks began the second quarter guns blazing. Within just the first five minutes of the period, he managed to drop 10 points. Brooks had to take a seat at the six-minute mark due to picking up three fouls, but he finished the half with 18 points on a scorchingly efficient 7-for-9 shooting. Memphis outscored Atlanta 36-32 and usurped the lead, as they owned a two-point advantage heading into halftime.

Third Quarter:

This quarter belonged to the Grizzlies. Memphis upped their defensive intensity after a lackluster first half defensively. Trae Young’s effectiveness in the pick-and-roll was neutralized thanks to the collective effort by the Grizzlies to trap him on every touch. Not to mention the rim protection of Jonas Valanciunas and Gorgui Dieng was valuable as they combined for a number of blocks and contested shots at the rim. Atlanta mustered just 17 points in the quarter compared to Memphis’ 31, and the Grizzlies held a sizable 99-83 edge with quarter three in the books.

Fourth Quarter:

The Grizzlies’ momentum from the third quarter carried over to the fourth. Dillon Brooks and Valanciunas continued to pour on the points for Memphis, as the Hawks’ porous defense had no answer for them. The game was already decided by the beginning of the period, so the Grizzlies opted to give their non-rotation guys some run time to cap things off. Ahmad Caver, Bennie Boatright and Sean McDermott all made late-game appearances. Memphis held the Hawks to 39% shooting from the field and came away with the 22-point win. The Grizzlies won by a final score of 128-106.

Tune in for Memphis’ preseason finale against the Hawks Saturday.

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