By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor
The Atlanta Hawks won their sixth consecutive contest overall and 20th victory over their last 22 games with a 96-86 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at Philips Arena on Wednesday night.
The Hawks improved to 27-8 and hold the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Grizzlies fall to 25-10.
Jeff Teague had a game-high 25 points and six assists in the victory. He has now scored 20-or-more points in each of the last six games for the longest streak of his career. Paul Millsap had a game-high nine rebounds along with 11 points for the Hawks.
Pero Antic had a season-high 13 points off the bench for Atlanta while Al Horford (12 points) and Kyle Korver (14 points) also scored in double-figures.
Overall, the Hawks shot 44.4 percent from the field, making 13 out of 25 three-pointer attempts. Atlanta had a season-high 17 steals and forced Memphis into 21 total turnovers.
Mike Conley had a team-high 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Grizzlies in the defeat. Marc Gasol finished the night with 16 points and seven rebounds. Memphis shot 44.3 percent from the field, going 5 for 17 from the three-point line. The Grizzlies outrebounded the Hawks 39-37.
The Hawks led 49-44 heading into the third quarter. Paced by a 10-0 run in the third quarter, the Hawks took a 70-59 lead into the fourth quarter. Memphis only scored 15 third-quarter points.
The Grizzlies mounted a comeback and a jumper by Nick Calathes tied the score at 76-76 with 6:03 left in the game.
The teams traded baskets and two free throws by Gasol tied the score again at 84-84 with three minutes left.
On Atlanta’s next possession, Horford hit a jumper just left of the free throw circle, giving the Hawks the 86-84 lead at the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
After a Gasol miss, Teague and Korver converted consecutive three-pointers on the Hawks next two possessions to secure the victory. Atlanta finished the contest on a 9-2 run.
The first quarter was marked by runs for both squads. Atlanta started the game on a 7-0 run before Memphis responded with a 8-0 itself. The Hawks finished the quarter with a 9-0 run to take a 23-19 lead into the second quarter.
Atlanta outscored Memphis 26-25 in the second quarter to take a 49-44 lead into the locker room.
Teague had a game-high 12 points and four assists for the Hawks in the first half. Korver and Mike Scott each had eight points. Overall, Atlanta shot 51% from the field, making nine out of 16 three-pointers.
Conley scored a team-high 10 points for the Grizzlies, who shot 48 percent in the first half.