NBA Game Summary - Memphis at Atlanta
(Wednesday, December 3rd)
Final Score: Atlanta 105, Memphis 95
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson scored 26 points as Atlanta sent Memphis to its seventh straight loss with a 105-95 decision at Philips Arena.
Josh Smith, who had missed the previous 12 games due to a high left ankle sprain, returned to the lineup and posted 14 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Hawks, who won for the fifth time in seven contests.
Mike Bibby had 20 points and 10 assists for Atlanta, which also got 16 points from Marvin Williams and 15 from Al Horford. The Hawks shot 56.3 percent from the field.
"We're playing very unselfish and it gets contagious when you do that," said Smith. "And we keep doing that, it's kind of a balanced scoring effort from everybody. We played together, and we just have to do that every night."
Hakim Warrick had 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting for Memphis, which has dropped 11 of its last 12 contests. Rudy Gay added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, while Kyle Lowry finished with 17 points.
Already ahead by 11 points at the half, the Hawks extended the margin to 26 midway through the third. Johnson, who had 10 points in the third, moved the score to 74-48 with a three-pointer.
"It was huge, we never overcame it because we ran out of time," said Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni. "We didn't show the urgency we needed to show throughout the half, not just the last 17 or 18 minutes. We have to do it 24."
The Hawks were in front 83-69 going to the fourth, and although the Grizzlies closed within six down the stretch, Atlanta was able to hang on. The last six- point spread came at 101-95 on a Warrick three-ball with nearly a minute left, but Horford countered with a jumper.
The game was tied at 24 after one quarter, but Atlanta used a 16-6 run for a 46-35 advantage. It was 50-39 at the half.
Smith played just 11 minutes before hurting his ankle in a November 7 win over the Toronto Raptors...Smith has 797 blocks for his career and is poised to become the youngest to reach 800 in a career. Smith turns 23 on December 5. Shaquille O'Neal had 800 blocks when he was 24 years and 9 days old on March 15, 1996 in a game against Vancouver...O.J. Mayo and Darrell Arthur scored 11 for the Grizzlies, while Mike Conley scored 10 for the visitors.
12/03 22:32:22 ET