Grizzlies 98, Hawks 87

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Chucky Atkins scored 19 points and Mike Miller added 18 to help the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Atlanta Hawks 98-87.

Pau Gasol added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, which snapped a 3-game losing skid and won its sixth straight over the Hawks.

Memphis used a 40-6 run that spanned the second and third quarter to take a 71-45 advantage midway through the third period.

Atlanta never got it under 10 the rest of the way, losing their 11th game in the last 13.

Lorenzen Wright added 14 for Memphis.

Josh Smith led the Hawks with 26 points, while Al Harrington finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Atlanta leading scorer Joe Johnson struggled from the field, missing his first nine shots before hitting a basket with 44 seconds left in the third period. He finished with five points on 2-for-12 shooting from the field.

Memphis built an early 13-point lead, but a 21-2 run by the Hawks in the second quarter erased the Grizzlies’ advantage. Tyronn Lue and Smith keyed the streak, Smith’s 3-pointer and layup, giving Atlanta its biggest lead of the first half at 39-31.

Memphis closed the half with a 18-3 stretch and had a 49-42 lead at intermission. Gasol scored 12 points, while Miller had 10 off the bench for Memphis.

Smith led Atlanta with 17 points and three blocks in the first half. He finished with five blocks.

The Memphis run from the second quarter extended beyond halftime with Memphis scoring the first seven points of the second half and extending the lead to 71-45 before carrying a 78-60 lead into the final period.

Notes: Hawks C Zaza Pachulia did not dress because of flu-symptoms. He had missed only one other game this season, on Dec. 14 against Philadelphia with back spasms. Johnson is the only Atlanta player to play in all 72. … Lue played in his first game since Feb. 6 when he suffered a right knee injury in practice. …The Hawks had lost three of the last five games to the Grizzlies by three points or less, including 85-84 on Nov. 12. … Memphis G Eddie Jones hit a rebound layup in the second quarter, ending an 0-for-16 slump.

AP-ES-04-02-06 1837EDT

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