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News » Hawks 111, Grizzlies 96

Hawks 111, Grizzlies 96

Hawks 111, Grizzlies 96MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Maurice Evans, playing for the first time in the preseason, scored 27 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 111-96 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

Evans, who was nursing an injured left knee during the Hawks' first three preseason games, connected on 8 of 10 shots from the field in 27 minutes.

"It feels a lot better after getting some rest," Evans said of the deep bone bruise. "I really didn't expect to be as sharp as I was. The guys really did a good job of moving the ball."

Al Horford added 14 points for the Hawks. Jeff Teague had 13 points and four assists, while reserve center Courtney Sims, a training camp invitee, added 12 points.

Zach Randolph had 18 points and eight rebounds for Memphis, while Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay scored 13 points each, although Gay was only 4 of 12 from the field.

DeMarre Carroll scored 12 points for Memphis and O.J. Mayo had 10 points and six of the turnovers that stymied the Grizzlies' offense.

Not only was Evans seeing his first preseason action, but it also was his first time on the court with Teague, the rookie from Wake Forest who was running the offense for the reserves.

"He makes a tremendous difference having a point guard on the second unit who really distributes the ball the way he does," Evans said. "I found myself really open and getting quality looks."

Horford was the only Atlanta starter to play more than 20 minutes. It wasn't necessary for the regulars to see extended minutes to dispatch the Grizzlies, who finished with 24 turnovers.

But a lack of intensity, particularly on the defensive end, posed even more problems for Memphis, which has won only one of five preseason games.

"We just didn't have the right energy coming off the bench," Carroll said of the reserves.

"We went out there with the right intentions," added guard Mike Conley, "but we were going to the wrong spots and positions. I think (Atlanta) was definitely more physical. The problem was that we didn't respond."

Atlanta led 71-51 at halftime behind 21 points from Evans, and a terrible display of ballhandling by Memphis. Even a Memphis rally to open the second half couldn't get the lead under double digits.

"The problem is, we shot 51 percent, and (were) not even in the ballgame because of 24 turnovers," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "We played too fast, were trying to do everything too quick.

"If somebody yelled their name, they threw it, rather than taking a look to see if they're really open. A lot of bad decisions."

The Hawks made 10 of their first 13 shots from the field and Memphis kept pace, missing only four of its first 12.

The Hawks' percentage was understandable as Atlanta was easily getting inside for uncontested layups and dunks. But Atlanta was also hitting from the outside, connecting on all three of its 3-point attempts in the first quarter.

Both teams finished the quarter shooting well above 60 percent.

Memphis continued its recent trend of poor ballhandling, which offset the Grizzlies' accurate shooting. By the midway point of the second quarter, Memphis had committed 10 turnovers.

The miscues helped Atlanta build a 21-point lead in the second quarter. And while both teams were still shooting about 60 percent at halftime, Memphis had taken 10 fewer shots because of the turnovers.

Memphis opened the second half with a 14-5 run. But despite Memphis outscoring the Hawks 26-18 in the quarter, Atlanta still led 89-77 entering the final period.

"We haven't played our guys a whole lot of minutes," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "So as we near these next four preseason games, we will start extending our minutes to our key guys that are going to play,"

NOTES: The NBA on Wednesday handed down a $25,000 fine against Hollins for comments he made after Monday's loss to Orlando. The technical reason for the fine was "improper conduct towards game officials." ... Memphis G Allen Iverson, who has not played in the preseason because of a partial tear in his left hamstring, did not play, but Conley, who has a sprained right ankle, and Gay, dealing with a left calf contusion, both started. ... Hawks C Zaza Pachulia did not dress because of a sore hip. ... Atlanta G Mike Bibby drew a technical in the first quarter for questioning a call and Mayo got a technical in the third.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 15, 2009


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