Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 93, Grizzlies 83

Vivlamore reporting.

MEMPHIS – The Hawks gave a dose of the third-quarter medicine they’ve had to swallow of late.

The Hawks erased an eight-point first-half deficit with one of their most impressive quarters of the season en route to a 93-83 victory over the Grizzles Saturday night at FedExForum. They outscored the Grizzlies, owners of the NBA’s top record, 32-13 coming out of intermission which included a 20-0 run. Lou Williams scored the final 11 points of the stretch, including three straight 3-pointers.

In their previous three games the Hawks blew late leads, holding on for two wins.

“At home we’ve been having trouble holding leads and giving them back,” said center Al Horford, who led the Hawks with his fifth straight double-double effort. “Tonight our focus was great.”

The Hawks (12-5) now have victories over all three Western Conference division leaders in the Grizzlies, Thunder and Clippers. They’ve won three straight and nine of their past 10 games.

Horford had 19 points and 14 rebounds in the win. Josh Smith scored a game-high 24 points with eight rebounds. Williams finished with 21 points, with 13 coming in the pivotal third quarter. Jeff Teague added 13 points to round out the double-digit scorers.

“I felt like I shot the ball well in our past game in Atlanta but I had four turnovers and no assists,” Williams said. “I really didn’t impact the game. I didn’t want to have another night like that. I got off to a slow start. I think I was 1-for-6 at halftime and it was looking like I was going to have another night where I didn’t impact the game. I just went out with a blaze.”

The Grizzlies (14-4) lost for only the second time at home and suffered their worst defeat of the season.

The Hawks trailed 47-41 at halftime and were down by as many as eight points in the second quarter. After an early imploring by coach Larry Drew to turn up their energy, the Hawks went on a 30-7 run, which included the 20-0 stretch.

In the decisive third quarter, the Hawks:

*Shot 60 percent from the field (12 of 20) while the Grizzlies shot 31.6 percent (6 of 19).

*Held a 13-7 rebound advantage.

*Had nine assists against two for the Grizzlies.

*Forced four turnovers, including three steals.

Horford said the key to the third quarter was Teague.

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

Teague said he focus was the run against the bigger Grizzlies.

“I just know that they are a really big team and we had to use our speed, athleticism, get up and down and cause havoc on the defensive end,” Teague said. “I challenged (Horford) and Zaza (Pachulia) and they responded. Zaza came out with the most energy and was banging on the boards.

“When we come out and play like that, we are a really good team. It starts with me. When I play with a lot of energy I think I play well. If I come out lackadaisical or sluggish it goes through the whole team. I put a lot of that on my shoulders. I thank Al for boosting me up.”

Pachulia’s effort won’t fully show in the boxscore. He had just one point, but he pulled down nine rebounds, fought for loose balls and defended Zach Randolph.

The Hawks led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter. The Grizzlies made a fourth-quarter run. Rudy Gay scored nine of his 17 points in the final period. The Grizzlies used a 9-0 lead to pull within five points, 75-69, but they get no closer.

“We did a really fine job, I thought, once we got a little bit of a lead we maintained our composure even when they made a couple of runs,” Drew said. “That’s just a huge, huge win for us – getting back on the road, having played last night, against a team that has the best record in the league.”

Next up, the Hawks travel to Miami to take on the Heat. The Hawks could make another statement of where they stand. They are not concerned with that.

“We are just playing,” Teague said. “We like staying under the radar. We are going to just keep playing and try to knock off everybody.”

- Chris Vivlamore

157 comments Add your comment

Rob

December 8th, 2012
11:47 pm

12-5… TRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

soullrenaissance

December 8th, 2012
11:48 pm

High-sider

December 8th, 2012
11:50 pm

soullrenaissance

December 8th, 2012
11:51 pm

Yeah Teague knock off the Heat!

Grimey

December 8th, 2012
11:51 pm

Truu whodat said we cant beat them saints lol. naw who dat said we cant be the best in the conference

RA

December 8th, 2012
11:51 pm

This is what the NFL would call a signature win. People can’t just keep saying, “Well, they haven’t really played anyone.” They’ve played the, and beaten, the Grizzlies, the Clippers, and the Thunder,three teams expected to go deep into the playoffs this Spring. Atlanta now, I’m not talking Eastern conference finals for this team yet, but anyone that sleeps on them is making a huge mistake.

MsDee

December 8th, 2012
11:55 pm

FTPB

Blast,

“If Hawks can beat Heat on Monday, they will own the 2nd best record in the East. Think about it. Early in the season, folks thought Hawks will be a lottery team.”

Not sure if folks on this blog remember me saying that the Hawks WILL be #2 in the East. They said I was drinking that Koolaid and smoking but I saw what this team could do with Horford FINALLY getting his hands on the ball and scoring w/o Joe pounding the ball while playing patty cake with Josh cause the ball NEVER went to Horford down low…well, well, well, look at here another dbl-dbl by him!! Both him and Josh are playing INCREDIBLE together with Teague, Lou, and Zaza all doing their part as well..YEP, im NOT afraid of Miami nor the Knicks..were coming to take that #1 spot, BABY!!

High-sider

December 8th, 2012
11:56 pm

I see [most of] the “Fire LD” [and "Fire Woody"] rhetoric has subsided. I guess that’s what happens when you [and your team] wins.

High-sider

December 8th, 2012
11:59 pm

REPOST

High-sider
December 8th, 2012
11:10 pm

Buddy Grizzard,

I have a suggestion for you. Please consider writing an article [on your "rep atl" site] about [how] this Hawks [team] is “winning on the cheap” and [en]title the article, “Hawks Ballin’ on a Budget.” Consider discussing both the players’ and [the] coaches’ salaries.

High-sider

December 9th, 2012
12:09 am

Hawks out-rebounded the Grizzlies, 44 – 40? And that Grizzlies [team] has a [starting] frontcourt that features Z. Randolph, M. Gasol and R. Gay? Dang, Hawks, y’all ballin’!!!

http://www.nba.com/games/20121208/ATLMEM/gameinfo.html?ls=iref:nbahpgt0021200289

Melvin

December 9th, 2012
12:11 am

This win felt good….

feudfinder

December 9th, 2012
12:11 am

Good job by the Hawks tonight on both ends. Keep it coming guys

Najeh Davenpoop

December 9th, 2012
12:14 am

I know David Stern would never let it happen it would never happen, but Hawks-Grizzlies would be a great NBA Finals.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 9th, 2012
12:22 am

The Hawks are 9-1 in their last 10. The Cavaliers are 1-9 in their last 10. And somehow that 1 for both teams is the same game.

Hawks_4_Life

December 9th, 2012
12:22 am

No cant say we havent played anyone now. We beat all the leaders out west.

Grandad

December 9th, 2012
12:30 am

High-Sider

How do you figure, the Hawks are operating on the cheap.

They are currently in the middle of the League in $alary.

They are above the cap but have not crossed the lux tax line.

No the are not the LALakers, nor are they nowhere near the bottom;
Houston if I`m not mistaken.

yes, LD is working for a low-ball salary.
But, if he continues to improve and `prove’ most of us wrong;
then he will get his [healthy] raise.

Grandad

December 9th, 2012
12:41 am

Major Observation !

1st half … Josh hung around outside.
2nd half … Josh went to the block and posted up.
This provided Two muho needed advantages:
(1) Josh is uber effective on the right block
(2) It created a double team,
therefore, our ‘`real`’ shooters were open outside

Grandad

December 9th, 2012
12:42 am

*mucho …not…[muho] !

doc

December 9th, 2012
12:45 am

number of pelts are growing on these guys belt. sweet.

cudos to LD, josh, al teague et al. steal a win from a team 21 of 22 of their last home games. back to back no less.

yup, there are coaches in there putting together a plan and the guys are executing it.

jgsbirds

December 9th, 2012
12:57 am

congratulations on another great win hawks! this one was solid! al horford was unbelievably active tonight. josh was very solid most of the night, he did scare me for a few moments in the fourth but for the most part played like he did last year, which was great! i thought he did a wonderful job of controlling his temper tonight as well because the refs sure didn’t give him or al the benefit of too many whistles. this team is finding their roles and playing very well together right now. i hope it continues on monday against the heat. great job hawks, great game to watch!

High-sider

December 9th, 2012
12:57 am

Grandad,

If I’m mistaken about the Hawks’ [perceived low] salaries expenses, thanks for the correction.

ag

December 9th, 2012
1:00 am

Great game fella’s. A win Monday and I think this city will respond.

BravesFan79

December 9th, 2012
1:05 am

How about them Hawks! I predicted a 4-6 seed this year, so far there doing better than even i expected.

jgsbirds

December 9th, 2012
1:17 am

looked like a lot of hawk fans at the fedex forum tonight. way to go 6th men!

doc

December 9th, 2012
1:34 am

high sider it is hard to say these guys are going the cheap route at any position except coaching where ld is a huge bargain at victory per dollar. one cant even call out the owners for doing vet minimums where the league pays a portion of the salary. that was their ploy the last few years where they got the “coaches in the clubhouse” players en masse. it is also refreshing to watch as the bench comes in with a flourish and have some room to get better.

Phil Lunney

December 9th, 2012
1:42 am

I think Larry Drew is a good coach. The team works much better than a team with Joe Johnson.

Pj

December 9th, 2012
1:47 am

12-5. Hmmm…. Might the Hawks be a real story for Atlanta fans yearning for a winner? D Ferry obviously knows what he’s doing. This was supposed to be a team that might out score teams on occasion, but look who they’ve beaten and how. There is some serious D being played. J smoove and Al are possibly the best 3-4 combo in the East. One Laker implosion away from trading for Dwight (for a bunch of draft picks) and being a legit threat to topple the East! (A guy can dream can’t he?)

High-sider

December 9th, 2012
1:49 am

Here’s a little perspective for you [Jamal Crawford critics/haters]. Jamal Crawford, a Clippers’ non-starter, is currently averaging 17.9ppg. The Hawks currently have five players who average double figures in points per game. These [Hawks] players include the following:

Josh Smith – 17.0ppg
Al Horford – 16.6ppg
Lou Williams – 14.2ppg
Jeff Teague – 13.6ppg
Kyle Korver – 10.8ppg

Oh yeah, btw, Jamal Crawford also currently leads the NBA in FT % [0.950]. How’s that for an undisciplined, streaky, bad-shot taking chucker?

http://www.nba.com/statistics/index.html

Travis Nunnally

December 9th, 2012
2:00 am

All these expiring contracts on the Hawks roster has them playing for a job next year. It might be a new thing, one and done players filling out the roster. Thanks for the template, Kentucky.

doc

December 9th, 2012
2:30 am

high sider, yawn, the guy jc1, lived by the ai rule as a hawk, “practice, you mean practice?”. not until he was threatened to become a journeyman player as he went into decline did he begin to work on his game, just this past summer. i dont think he would have see the light if he hadnt had to keep moving. sorry to say it, moving on was probably in his own best interest.

High-sider

December 9th, 2012
2:34 am

Whatever, doc [sarcasm and eyes rolling].

Grandad

December 9th, 2012
2:47 am

H-S

I wasn`t so much correcting,
as I was [maybe] pointing out a misperception.

When we unloaded Joe [same for Marv];
we had to take back equal $ in contracts.

The advantage for our Hawks was:
we recieved exp contracts instead of Joe`s albatross.
With Marv – we also recieved an exp contract.
Both deals give us flexibility next summer.

If I`m not mistaken;
we are paying out roughly the same as a yr ago.

As doc said;
we have an inexpensive coach – who`s doing a bang-up job.

The Hawks in past yrs – spent $;
the problems have been poor decisions
and in my opinion the Lack of a “Winning Culture”.

High-sider

December 9th, 2012
2:59 am

Message to the “Fire LD” and “Fire Woody” crowd. The Knicks and [the] Hawks are currently in first and third place in the Eastern Conference Standings, respectively, while the Lakers and [the] Blazers are currently in 11th and 12th place, respectively, in the Western Conference Standings which means both teams [Lakers and Blazers] wouldn’t make the playoffs if the regular season ended today [or tonight for that matter]. Where are the “Fire D’Antoni” and “Fire Stotts” posts/comments/chants?

Do I detect hypocrisy and [unequal] criticism(s) [of certain coaches] on this blog – most definitely.

http://www.nba.com/standings/team_record_comparison/conferenceNew_Std_Cnf.html

doc

December 9th, 2012
3:18 am

ditto to you bro, high sider. is it a broken heart or broken record? ;-)

lou fills that void well. he is a lot less in age and bucks spent, plus he is willing to play defense. get over it.

gdad, yup about changing the culture. i also think that is what ld started last year in beginning to make himself, coaches and players responsible for preparation. reaping rewards so far this season.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 9th, 2012
3:27 am

“Do I detect hypocrisy and [unequal] criticism(s) [of certain coaches] on this blog – most definitely.’

D’Antoni never coached the Hawks. Stotts barely coached the Hawks. Obviously this blog is going to talk about LD and Woody more than coaches who haven’t had anywhere near the same impact on this team.

I’ll say this, though — based on the first 17 games of this season, LD is a lot closer to being Coach of the Year than being fired.

Grandad

December 9th, 2012
3:47 am

H-S

I`m not sure what your getting at.
I have never said fire LD / at least I do not think I have.

This yr, I predicted his demise.
That is much different from calling for his dismissal.

Last yr I was LD`s advocate. (LD did an admirable job)
He also showed growth [as a coach] during the season.
Ask Rusty if you do not believe.
This yr I have been openly critical.
I think he has been deserving of any criticism he recieves from me.
Most of my expostulation has been:
handling of players, communication, consistency of message,
player rotation, favoritism, uneven guidelines,
lack of a clear philosophy, etc.
His X`s and O`s have always been fine with me.

Now Wdsn – that`s another story !
He was guilty of all the above;
PLUS;
he was weak on X`s and O`s.
Worse than all that;
he was not a teacher of the game of basketball.
AND;
the man is obtuse !

D`Antoni does not coach the Hawks;
and I was not a contributing member of the blog when Stotts was here.

I realize I`m not everyone – but that`l have to do – for me.

By the way;
the Filipino kid at Miami is doing a mighty fine job.

*Just in case we are getting into ethnicity again.

High-sider

December 9th, 2012
3:58 am

Grandad

December 9th, 2012
3:58 am

doc

I think DFerry has brought that mind-set.
If what you say is true:

” i also think that is what ld started last year
in beginning to make himself, coaches and players
responsible for preparation ”

then DFerry certainly assisted LD, by making sure the
*’`players understand`’*
that Ferry has his back and all those criteria are organizational.
Therefore LD ain`t out on a limb by himself.

PEDRO EL GITANO

December 9th, 2012
4:28 am

Estoy muy orgulloso de este equipo.Ya lo dije,nos quitamos tal cantidad de mierda en Joe Johnson y Marvin Williams que solo quedaba mejorar.Es un equipazo!!Espectacular el temporadón de Teague,está siendo la clave.Gran victoria,ahora veremos contra Miami si podemos liderar el Este.GO HAWKS!!!!!

High-sider

December 9th, 2012
4:36 am

Grandad,

“…Now Wdsn – that`s another story !
He was guilty of all the above;
PLUS;
he was weak on X`s and O`s.
Worse than all that;
he was not a teacher of the game of basketball.
AND;
the man is obtuse !…” – Grandad

“…By the way;
the Filipino kid at Miami is doing a mighty fine job.

*Just in case we are getting into ethnicity again.” – Grandad

Woody in his last two years as the Hawks head coach won 100 games and 53 games in the final year of his [Hawks] contract. Then, he [Woody] takes over as the Knicks head coach last year and now currently has an overall record as Knicks head coach of 32 – 10; that’s a winning percentage of 0.762, But he [Woody] can’t coach and the “Filipino kid” [Coach Spoelstra] can [coach]? Might I remind you that the Heat have three future HOFers (LBJ, D-Wade, and Bosh) – now, four future HOFers if you include Ray Allen – with one future HOFer [LBJ] who is most likely to be acknowledged as the best all-around basketball player the game [of basketball] has ever witnessed when he [LBJ] retires. LBJ will make [almost] any [basketball] coach “look great.” In his last two seasons as the Cavs head coach, Mike Brown won 66 and 61 games, respectively. What is his [M. Brown's] employment status at the moment? BTW, how are the Cavs doin’ [right] now [without LBJ]?

FYI, Grandad, it’s [almost] always about race [and money].

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq668tnRAco

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

December 9th, 2012
5:12 am

FIRE LD

Playoff basketball is on another level.

High-sider

December 9th, 2012
5:24 am

doc,

This is for you.

“Jamal Crawford started off by scoring the first seven points as the Clippers went on a 17-4 run to lead 102-87 less than four minutes into the final quarter. He finished the period scoring 13 points for Los Angeles, and ended the game with 21. Crawford is leading the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring, averaging 7.9 points per game. Crawford also leads the league by having scored 20 or more points off the bench in 10 games this season, and the Clippers are 8-2 in those games. One more thing Crawford is excelling at this season is free throws. He made four in the game to extend his consecutive free throw number to 55. Crawford is shooting 94.7 percent this season, and has not missed from the stripe since Nov. 3.” – examiner.com

Wouldn’t you say that Jamal Crawford’s points per game average in the fourth quarter demonstrates his ability to excel or perform in [the] “clutch” or “crunch time” situations/scenarios?

http://www.examiner.com/article/phoenix-suns-routed-fourth-by-clippers-reservers-for-sixth-straight-loss?cid=rss

JSS

December 9th, 2012
6:31 am

Y’all still entertaining Crawford discussions? They couldn’t afford him… Time to move on…

That is a fine win in Memphis!

Blast

December 9th, 2012
6:49 am

Hear ya, Ms Dee. You were one of the few that gave Hawks a chance.

Go, Hawks!

Just Joe

December 9th, 2012
7:32 am

I want to give Josh some credit. Last 5 games, averaging 21 pts and 11 rebounds on 47% shooting (50% from 3, 5 of 10). 2 blocks and 2+ steals per game.

Horford is mr. consistency with his double-doubles, but Josh is the wild card. When he plays well, this team can be special.

Keep it up Josh. I have no problem with you taking the occasional wide open 3, but the long 2 is a shot that must be left alone.

Marcus

December 9th, 2012
7:44 am

Keep it up.
We almost had MIA when we played them early. I seem to recall some faltering in the last 2 minutes that allowed them to pull away … maybe even a Josh missed FT?!?!?

If we hadn’t laxed vs. CLE and had beaten MIA, all other things remaining the same … we would be No. 1 in the East.

..but we have, what, 60 some games left?!?! Lets just work it.

Eric

December 9th, 2012
7:53 am

LD should’ve been coach of the year last year, considering he lost his star center(Horford) for the entire season and still was a 4th seed in the east.Would’ve beat Boston if they were healthy.

HawkFan

December 9th, 2012
8:51 am

I am just about ready to take back all I’ve said about LD. Not sure it wasn’t warranted before so maybe he has just mproved with experience. I know this, not a lot of teams looking forward to playing this Hawks bunch right now. Beating people on the boards, causing turnovers and running the floor really makes them a tough team. Lot of weapons and good balanced scoring

Josh is playing great right now. Knocking down shots, great passing, defense, rebounding. Al and Teague also making his team go with Lou, Devin, Deshawn kind of taking turns pushing us over the top. Go Hawks, sign LD to an extension.

GregG

December 9th, 2012
9:02 am

DF deserves all the credit in the world for unloading JJohnson and MWilliams. I’m not too disappointed he fell short on his pursuit of Dwight Howard though. I watch the Hawks and I can’t convince myself they’re a better team with Dwight instead of Horford.

ag

December 9th, 2012
9:03 am

HawksFan don’t forget about Korver