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Grizzlies soar past the Hawks in Atlanta

Onward and Upward

Memphis Grizzlies v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Grizzlies decimated the Hawks 127-88, securing one more win in a challenging March schedule and moving to 30-31.

It was a slow start for both teams, but the Atlanta Hawks found their rhythm first. The Grizzlies struggled both to score and snag rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas scored the first 4 points for the Grizzlies. Morant scored the next 4 points, and the Grizzlies slowly chipped away at the Hawks’ lead. A good portion of the Hawks’ roster contributed, including a three from Vince Carter. Valanciunas delivered points and rebounds in addition to a lot of offensive energy from Josh Jackson. Ultimately, the Grizzlies rallied to take the lead at the close of the quarter 24-23.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The second quarter started well for the Grizzlies, with early points from Tyus Jones and Josh Jackson who gained steam from behind the arc in the first half. The Hawks’ turnovers increased, and the Grizzlies were able to capitalize on the Hawks’ sloppiness. The second half of the second quarter proved incongruent for the Grizzlies. Trae Young scored 15 points, most of which came from the free-throw line. Although the Grizzlies’ momentum dried up from their one-time 14-point lead, they ended the half ahead by 3.

The Grizzlies extended their lead in the third quarter from 3 to 19 before settling at a 16-point lead at quarter close. They outscored the Hawks 32-19. Contributions came from a variety of players, including Brooks, Melton, Morant and Jones. The defensive intensity also picked up to force additional turnovers and create opportunities for the Grizzlies to build a comfortable lead heading into final quarter.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Early in the fourth quarter, Tolliver scored his first points with the Grizzlies, a couple of threes. Tyus Jones continued his offensive momentum, quickly helping to extend the lead to 24 with an assist to Dieng, and the whole Grizzlies’ roster adorned themselves in Ja goggles in celebration. At the 8-minute mark, the Grizzlies extended their lead to 31. Josh Jackson got fouled on a three-point shot and extended the lead to 36. Pete Pranica announced “Hammer, Nail, Coffin” with 3:30 remaining in the game, and the Grizzlies won a decisive victory against the Hawks with contributions from all over the roster.