ATLANTA (AP) - Joe Johnson scored 26 points, and Mike Bibby had
20 points and 10 assists in the Atlanta Hawks' 105-95 victory over
the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
The Hawks, who have won three of four and five of seven,
welcomed back Josh Smith after their $58 million forward missed the
past 12 games with an ankle sprain. In 28 minutes, Smith had 14
points, six rebounds, five assists, four turnovers and one blocked
Rudy Gay finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds as Memphis
dropped its season-worst seventh straight. Losing their 11th in 12
games, the Grizzlies trailed by 26 on Johnson's 3-pointer at the
5:44 mark of the third quarter.
But Memphis went on a 34-14 run to close within six to make it
88-82 on Hakim Warrick's dunk with 6:37 remaining. Warrick, a
reserve forward, led the Grizzlies with 20 points. Kyle Lowry came
off the bench to add a season-high 17.
Mike Conley twice cut the lead to seven points in the fourth
quarter, the second time coming with 7:52 remaining, but Bibby
answered 16 seconds later with a 3-pointer to make it 88-78.
Smith played for the first time since the Hawks' 6-0 start,
returning to face an opponent that signed him to a five-year, $58
million offer sheet that Atlanta matched in August.
O.J. Mayo, the third overall draft pick, had 11 points, nearly
16 under his average of what he had in Memphis' past five games,
but the performance was enough to make him the third rookie to
begin his career with 18 straight games in double figures.
Notes: New Jersey's Keith Van Horn scored in double figures over
his first 18 games in 1997-98. Lamar Odom set the longest streak to
begin a rookie career at 19 games with the Los Angeles Clippers in
'99. ... The Hawks have won five straight over Memphis. ... Javaris
Crittenton, an Atlanta native and former Georgia Tech standout
drafted 19th overall last year by the Los Angeles Lakers and traded
to Memphis 10 months ago in the Pau Gasol deal, went 0-for-2 from
the field in 6 minutes.
Grizzlies get back in Action at home Friday Night against the L.A. Clippers at FedExForum.