The Hawks looked to start another winning streak against the Memphis Grizzlies, who have gotten off to a disappointing 8-19 start to the season. The Grizz did, however, welcome back the return of Ja Morant earlier this week, and they were working on a two-game winning streak coming into Atlanta.
The Hawks’ offense got off to a quick start en route to a 17-12 lead at the first timeout. Quick motion in the halfcourt opened up some opportunities, like on this Trae floater.
After one quarter, the Hawks led 32-25 behind a solid perimeter defense that included four steals forced.
In the second quarter, the Hawks continued to execute on both ends. Seth Lundy came in and gave the Hawks good minutes as a wing defender. As a bonus, he knocked down his first NBA triple in the period as well.
Seth Lundy first 3-pointer of his career pic.twitter.com/KY98kb7ufq— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) December 24, 2023
The Hawks offense went stagnant for a period, however, and Memphis was able to knot the game up at 41 with seven minutes left in the quarter. After that, the Hawks kicked back into high gear and pushed the lead back to double digits quickly. Clint Capela did his usual yeoman’s work around the rim.
The Hawks took a 60-50 lead into the locker room at the break. Dejounte Murray led all scorers with 15 points at halftime.
Out of halftime, a quick 8-2 run by the visitors made the contest tight once again. With Trae Young being face-guarded by Vince Williams Jr. the entire length of the court, Dejounte Murray continued his takeover in the third quarter to continually give the offense a boost.
The two teams remained locked in a tight battle through the end of the third quarter. After 36 minutes, the Hawks led 93-90.
Both teams traded blows in the fourth quarter, as was to be expected. But as the quarter progressed, the Hawks struggled to knock down open shots or get timely stops. With the team having played six games in five different cities in the past nine days, fatigue and injury absences were beginning to wear on them.
One big moment with 2:17 left in the contest was a seemingly obvious goaltend that went uncalled that would have brought the Hawks to within four points. On the next offensive possession, Young hit a step back three to make it a 118-114 contest with 1:47 left.
From there, the Hawks were unable to knife into the deficit after a whistle on a phantom loose ball call and a couple of blown shots at an open rim, and as a result Atlanta fell 125-119 to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Trae Young and Oscar Robertson now stand alone as the only two players with a streak of 30 or more points and 10 or more assists in seven consecutive NBA games. Young finished with 30 points and 13 assists to lead the Hawks and Dejounte Murray added 26 points on 10-for-15 shooting.
The Hawks next play the Chicago Bulls in the Windy City on December 26th.