The Hawks were back home in Philips Arena Tuesday night to take on the struggling Memphis Grizzlies in a matchup of lottery-destined teams. This game is the last game before the trade deadline for Atlanta, which look to be a major seller in this year’s market.
The Hawks inactives for Friday’s game included DeAndre’ Bembry, who will not play as he continues his rehab from a “left groin strain” and has been shooting with the team as he nears a return. Tyler Cavanaugh was also inactive due to an ankle injury he suffered in a G-League game last week. Marco Belinelli was the Hawks other inactive as Atlanta continues to be locked in trade talks for the veteran sharpshooter.
The game began in typical Hawks fashion: very slowly with neither team jumping out to a lead in the early going. Miles Plumlee was a force early on for the Hawks against Marc Gasol, who seemed to just be off his game for the Grizzlies. Tyler Dorsey followed with a ridiculous alley-oop from Dennis Schroder, who had a good first quarter distributing the ball. Dewayne Dedmon continued the big man onslaught from Atlanta with a couple of jump shots later in the quarter, both off a pass from Dorsey, who has been a pleasant surprise this season. Memphis simply was terrible and had more turnovers in the first quarter than made shots, pushing Atlanta to a lead at the end of the first up 22-15.
Memphis tried to get Gasol involved early in the second but after two made shots, they went away from the big man. Memphis continued to turn the ball over and the Hawks got in transition, pushing the ball up the court quickly. Kent Bazemore had a miniature scoring burst midway through the quarter to help grow the Hawks lead and Memphis had few answers. Dedmon was the story late in the second as he took over the game hitting a three pointer and annihilating the rim on a ferocious dunk as the Hawks took a 16-point lead into the half, 51-35.
Things really got out of hand for Memphis in the third quarter as Atlanta opened the quarter with three free throws from Taurean Prince and then a three-pointer from Ersan Ilyasova. Memphis continued to turn the ball over at an alarming rate with the Hawks seemingly scoring off every steal and block. Dorsey continued his fantastic play in more minutes, running some time at point guard and getting to the rim with ease. The Hawks led at one point by 32 points and carried a 79-54 lead into the final quarter.
The Hawks basically played “prevent defense” in the fourth quarter as the game was already a foregone conclusion. Notably, Malcolm Delaney had a four-point play early in the quarter and played some really solid defense during his stint. The Hawks bench finished things up with Luke Babbitt seeing some action before the trade deadline on Thursday. Atlanta went on to win in grand fashion as Memphis played terribly compiling 25 turnovers on the night.
Dennis Schroder lead the Hawks with 22 points and five assists in 24 minutes. John Collins contributed with a double-double of 15 points and ten rebounds. Dorsey saw 28 minutes of action and put up ten points to go along with six assists.
The Hawks will be playing again on Thursday against the Magic in Orlando. Stay tuned for what should be a fun trade deadline in Atlanta.