Hawks use 3rd-quarter rally to beat Memphis 93-83

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm •  Published: December 8, 2012
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — At halftime, the Atlanta Hawks figured they had played cautiously long enough.

With a burst of energy, tough defense and 3-point shooting from Lou Williams in the third quarter, the Hawks were able to pull away for a 93-83 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

"I think we were just trying to play it safe because (the Grizzlies) are a really good team," Atlanta guard Jeff Teague said of the first-half effort. "They were playing at home, so we didn't want to make any false moves and just keep it close.

"We just came in, (at halftime) and it was like: 'Forget it. Let's play Hawks basketball and get after it.' And it helped."

Josh Smith had 24 points, while Williams scored 18 of his 21 in the second half. Al Horford had 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Atlanta, which won for the ninth time in its last 10 games. Teague finished with 13 points and six assists.

Horford said Teague's leadership was a key to the third quarter, when Atlanta outscored Memphis 32-13. The game was close until the middle of the period, when Atlanta erased a five-point deficit with 20 straight points to build a lead that Memphis could not overcome.

"(Teague) came in at halftime, and you could tell he was bothered by the way the first half went," Horford said. "He made an effort to play better and pick up the pace of the game. I think that was the difference."

Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol scored 18 points apiece, Randolph grabbing 13 rebounds as Memphis lost at home for only the second time this season. Rudy Gay scored 17 points, but was 7 of 25 from the field. Mike Conley finished with 12 points.

Atlanta shot 44 percent for the game, and held Memphis to 43 percent. Atlanta has not allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent this season.

The Hawks outrebounded Memphis 44-40, including 14 off the offensive glass. Atlanta also outscored the Grizzlies in the paint 42-38.

"They just outworked us," Conley said. "We turned the ball over too much (16 on the night). We didn't execute offensively. We didn't get any stops. In the third quarter, we let it slip away and weren't able to get back in the game."

Atlanta outscored Memphis 52-36 in the second half as Williams and Smith pushed the rally. The Hawks looked fresher after the halftime break despite winning at home Friday night over the Washington Wizards.

"We looked like a team that was tired," said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins, whose team won at New Orleans on Friday night. "They had 42-38 points in the paint and 15 fast-break points. At every area, they just beat us. We survived the first half, and they tried to save their guys by subbing."