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Cooper pulls Hawks ahead late in 91-87 comeback win over Grizzlies

Sharife Cooper got hot in the fourth, leading the Hawks to their first victory of the preseason.

Atlanta Hawks v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks battled the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night in what was another tune up for each side ahead of the regular season. The Hawks trailed for most of the night, but came back in the fourth quarter behind the strong play of rookie guard Sharife Cooper. Atlanta took home the win by a score of 91-87.

Each side was missing several key contributors, and this was not the cleanest played game to say the least. Atlanta trailed 40-37 at halftime, and shot just 29% from the floor in the first half.

The biggest story of the first half was an injury sustained by Gorgui Dieng. Dieng left the game with a hand sprain and would not return.

Jahlil Okafor started the second half in Dieng’s absence.

John Collins led the Hawks with nine points and six rebounds at the break. With both sides missing so many of their playmakers, it was a truly ugly opening half. Memphis shot 32% from the floor and 12% (3-of-25) from three-point range in the first two quarters.

Bogdan Bogdanovic had 16 points and shot 4-of-6 from three-point range, and Collins finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Danilo Gallinari had 11 points and 10 rebounds in 21 minutes.

Cooper played significant minutes in the second half in wake of the absence of Trae Young and Delon Wright, and the rookie was able to take control of the game for Atlanta down the stretch and help lead the Hawks to a win. Cooper finished with 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

The Hawks will finish up the preseason with a home game vs. the Miami Heat on Thursday.

Stay tuned.