Evans scores 22 to lead Griz­zlies over Hawks

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - As­so­ci­ated Press

MEM­PHIS, Tenn. — The Mem­phis Griz­zlies avoided drop­ping into the Western Con­fer­ence cel­lar by beat­ing the worst team in the East. And it took ev­ery last sec­ond to se­cure the win over the At­lanta Hawks.

Tyreke Evans scored 22 points, in­clud­ing the go-ahead layup with 1:03 left, as the Griz­zlies snapped a five-game skid with a 96-94 vic­tory over the Hawks on Fri­day night.

But there were a lot of deep breaths in the clos­ing se­conds.

The Hawks at­tempted three shots in the fi­nal 3.5 se­conds, all of which mis­fired, in­clud­ing An­drew Harrison’s de­flec­tion of Tau­rean Prince’s at­tempt in the left cor­ner with about 1.2 se­conds left. The ball went into Kent Baze­more’s hands and his 3-point at­tempt at the horn bounced off the front of the rim.

“All I was think­ing was don’t let them get it up,” Harrison said of his de­fense in the clos­ing se­conds.

Mario Chalmers added 16 points and had four steals for Mem­phis, while Marc Ga­sol scored 13 points.

The loss left the Hawks with the worst record in the NBA, while the win helped Mem­phis stay above the Dal­las Mav­er­icks, who sit at the bot­tom of the West.

“Win­ning al­ways feels bet­ter than los­ing,” Mem­phis in­terim coach J.B. Bick­er­staff said with re­lief, later adding: “I think some plays went our way.”

Baze­more led the Hawks with 19 points, while Den­nis Schroder fin­ished with 18 points and 11 as­sists.

Prince con­trib­uted 17 points as At­lanta dropped its fourth straight.

“Tough loss,” At­lanta coach Mike Bu­den­holzer said. “I felt like we played well enough for more of the game, for 48 min­utes, but we weren’t able to come away with the win. We needed to make a few more plays down the stretch.”

The first half was rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a con­test be­tween two of the worst teams in the league, with a to­tal of 24 turnovers and both shoot­ing 44 per­cent. A few more made free throws for At­lanta and a cou­ple of ex­tra 3-point­ers gave the Hawks a 47-40 lead at in­ter­mis­sion.

Mem­phis trailed 89- 81 with just over 6 min­utes left when it reeled off eight straight, capped by Chalmers’ 3-poin­ter to tie the game at 89.

HAWKS

At­lanta’s John Collins (20) shoots against Mem­phis’ Chan­dler Par­sons.

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