By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor
The Atlanta Hawks returned home from their five-game road trip and won their homecoming over the Memphis Grizzlies 95-83 on Saturday night.
Five Hawks (37-29) scored in double-figures led by a game-high 21 points from Paul Millsap. Thabo Sefolosha notched a double-double off the bench with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. It was Sefolosha’s first double-double of the season. Other Atlanta players to reach double-digits were Al Horford (19 points), Jeff Teague (18 points) and Kyle Korver (15 points).
The Hawks shot 42.9 percent from the field in the victory, hitting 11 three-pointers.
Five Memphis (39-27) players scored in double-figures led by a team-high 18 points off the bench from Lance Stephenson. Tony Allen scored 15 for the Grizzlies who shot 34.7 percent from the field in the contest and made six three-pointers.
“This was a hard game,” Memphis head coach David Joerger said. “We played our tails off. Sometimes its not pretty, but we’re going out there and competing. We kind of ran out of gas a little bit. We’re challenged offensively right now.”
Memphis jumped out to a 22-18 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Ray McCallum’s three-pointer at the 9:09 mark of the second quarter increased the Grizzlies’ lead to 29-19. He finished the game with 13 points.
The Hawks tied it at 37-37 on a runner by Millsap with 3:12 left in the first half. Atlanta took the 40-37 lead on its next possession on a Korver three-pointer.
Atlanta finished the second quarter on an12-4 run to take a 49-41 lead into halftime.
“It was a little bit of a strange game,” Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer said. “We got down early going into the second quarter. Defensively, I thought we were pretty good for most of the game. Offensively, the ball movement was good. Different guys stepped up and played well. It’s a good win coming off of the road trip.”
Atlanta shot 41.9 percent from the field in the first half led by a team-high 14 points from Millsap and 13 points from Horford. Both players also grabbed six first-half rebounds. The Hawks made five three pointers in the first half and grabbed more rebounds than the Grizzlies 23-20.
Stephenson’s 12 points off the bench in the first half were a team-high for Memphis which shot 30.9 percent, making three three-pointers.
Atlanta led 71-58 heading into the fourth quarter before securing the victory.