The Atlanta Hawks, fresh off two off days at home, were back in action Wednesday night from State Farm Arena, where they hosted the Memphis Grizzlies. The Hawks opened as slim favorites in Vegas, but actually ended up being one point underdogs to the Grizzlies by game-time per Westgate Las Vegas, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Despite the majority of the money bet today going on Memphis, the Hawks went out and handily took care of the Grizzlies in what was one of the most impressive start-to-finish performances of the entire season for the Atlanta offense.
Considering Memphis entered the night fifth in defensive efficiency for the season, and even better of late, the Hawks put on an offensive performance that is up there with the Jan. 15 win vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder, when they put up 142 points on the NBA’s fourth most efficient defense.
The Hawks totaled 29 fast break points, 35 assists and 62 points in the paint tonight. They shot 51 percent from the floor (52 for 103) and posted an offensive rating of 129.9. That massive offensive rating was even better before the starters exited the ballgame with around six minutes left, at which point the Hawks were scoring more than 140 points per 100 possessions. Let’s take a look at how they did it.
Trae Young, to no surprise, opened the scoring for the hosts. Huerter added a layup off his own miss moments later to make it 5-0, prompting a quick Memphis timeout less than two minutes into play. A Taurean Prince steal out of the break led to a lob from Young to Huerter to push the lead to 7-0.
Taurean ➡️ Trae ➡️ Kevin ⬆️ pic.twitter.com/muD2rjMHUp— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 13, 2019
The Grizzlies quickly responded with a 6-0 run to pull back within one before Huerter answered on the ensuing possession with a three of his own. Young intercepted a pass and found Huerter on the break for another three moments later, giving Huerter 10 of the first 13 Atlanta points.
The Hawks pushed the lead to 12-2 giving them an 11-point lead in the early going. The Grizzlies responded with another timeout, their second in the first six minutes and change.
Mike Conley found Joakim Noah for an and-one to cut it back to eight coming out of the break, then C.J. Miles hit a 19 foot jumper to pull the Grizz back within six before Young banged home a triple to push it back to nine. Young made his first three shots in the contest.
After a rough shooting night on Sunday, Trae Young is 3 of 3.— Peachtree Hoops (@peachtreehoops) March 13, 2019
Bembry grabbed a steal and pulled out the fantastic 360 dunk on the break for the fans in attendance at State Farm Arena.
DeAndre' Bembry 360-degree dunk. pic.twitter.com/tQWq8hMbM9— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 14, 2019
Young found Len with a wraparound bounce pass moments later to push the lead back to double digits.
The Grizzlies responded with another 5-0 run, pulling back within five and forcing a timeout from Hawks’ head coach Lloyd Pierce.
Adams and Carter joined Bazemore, Bembry and Len to complete the bench lineup out of the break. Carter hit a jumper over Noah on his first possession of the contest.
The Grizzlies went on a 12-4 run to pull back within two late in the first, but Len hit a three on the Hawks’ last possession of the quarter to push the margin back to five: Hawks 33, Grizzlies 28 after one.
Len hit another three to open the second, making it a 6-0 personal run and pushing the Atlanta lead back up to eight momentarily.
Memphis cut the lead back to four before Collins went on a 5-0 run to push it back to nine. Miles responded with his second three-pointer early in the second (his fourth of the game) to cut it back to six, however Collins and Len sandwiched layups around a Hawks stop to quickly push the margin back to ten in favor of the home team.
Noah responded with a bucket before Conley hit a layup and-one to cut it back to five after a solid defensive possession by Memphis on the Hawks’ end of the floor.
Miles hit his fifth three of the contest following a split pair of free throws from Collins, cutting the Atlanta lead back to three and giving Miles 17 points in his first 12 minutes of action.
Huerter and Young responded with threes on back to back possessions, pushing the most recent Hawk run to 8-0 and the lead back to 11.
Memphis responded with a 7-2 run to get it back to six before Carter hit a three-pointer to put the margin back at nine.
Dedmon also got in the highlight column in what was another impressive stretch of play for Atlanta with this block.
Miles hit his sixth three-pointer of the first half, getting up to 20 points, to cut the lead back to four briefly before Atlanta responded with a 6-0 run to stretch it back to ten at 68-58. Prince hit a three after a Conley layup, making it 72-60 in favor of the home team at half.
Five Atlanta Hawks tallied double-digit scoring halves: Collins (14), Len (14), Huerter (13), Young (12) and Prince (10). Young and Huerter both shot 5 of 7 from the field, while Prince was 4 of 5, Len was 6 of 9 and Collins was 5 of 9.
Overall the Hawks shot 52.7 percent for the half with 19 assists compared to only three turnovers.
That was one of the better offensive halves of the season from the Hawks.— Brad Rowland (@BTRowland) March 14, 2019
- 5 players in double figures
- 3 turnovers (!!!)
- 53% FG, 11/25 3PT
- 20 fast break points
- 143.0 offensive rating
Noah had nine points, seven rebounds and four assists in 14 minutes off the bench. Miles had 20 points and six three-pointers in the half, while Conley notched ten points and four assists.
Dedmon opened the second half scoring for the Hawks, pushing the lead to what was then a game high 14 points early in the third.
Young and Prince hit back to back threes to push the run to 8-2, and the lead to 18, prompting a quick timeout from Memphis to start the third quarter, much like how they contest opened.
Trae will take extremely long field-goal attempts. pic.twitter.com/NkBc0tm0e0— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 14, 2019
Young hit Collins with a three-quarter court lob to push the lead to 23. The Hawks were flying, with the game under control.
The Hawks remained in control of the game for the rest of the third, with the Grizzlies never getting closer than 15, while the Atlanta fast break points and three-pointers kept on coming.
Sharing is caring. Well done, DeAndre'. pic.twitter.com/q1GBIZ6qDX— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 14, 2019
It was another outstanding performance for Collins who posted 27 points (11 for 17, 1 for 2 from three-point-range) and 12 rebounds, bouncing around the lane and stepping out on the perimeter for a couple of three point attempts as well.
Huerter (16 points, 6 for 10 from the floor, 4 of 6 from three-point-range) and Young (22 points, 8 of 12, 3 of 5 from three) both enjoyed efficient evenings as well. Young added 8 assists and 3 rebounds while going turnover free in the contest.
Len added 20 points (8 for 13, 2 for 5 from three) to go along with eight rebounds and four assists off of the bench in what continues to be the best season of his six-year career.
Miles had 33 points (eight three-pointers) for Memphis, while Conley added 20 to go along with seven assists. Noah finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
The Hawks will be back in action Saturday afternoon from Boston, with the rare 12:30 pm ET tip-off against the Celtics.