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Hawks use 3rd-quarter rally to beat Memphis 93-83
By CLAY BAILEY
Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol scored 18 points apiece, Randolph grabbing 13 rebounds as Memphis lost at home for only the second time this season. Rudy Gay scored 17 points, but was 7 of 25 from the field. Mike Conley finished with 12 points.
The game was close until the middle of the third quarter, when Atlanta erased a five-point deficit 20 unanswered points to build a lead that Memphis could not overcome.
Atlanta shot 44 percent for the game, and held Memphis to 43 percent. Atlanta has not allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent this season.
The Hawks outrebounded Memphis 44-40, including 14 off the offensive glass. Atlanta also outscored the Grizzlies in the paint 42-38.
The difference was in the second half, as Atlanta outscored Memphis 52-36 as Williams and Smith pushed the rally.
Memphis carried a 47-41 into halftime behind Gasol and Randolph, who had 14 and 12 respectively, Randolph also grabbing nine rebounds.
For the most part, the stats were close in the first half, the Memphis advantage coming from going 4 of 7 from outside the arc compared to the Hawks hitting 2 of 6.
Memphis would hold an eight-point lead in the half, while the Hawks managed only a two-point advantage.
Atlanta turned up the defensive pressure to open the second half, leading to a 10-4 run and a tie at 51. Memphis missed six of its eight shots in the early minutes of the third quarter and committed three turnovers to allow Atlanta to pull even.
Atlanta would continue to push the pace, and the Grizzlies were dragging. The Hawks would craft a 20-0 run as Memphis went almost 5 minutes without scoring.
The rally would put Atlanta up by 73-58, Williams connecting on three straight from beyond the arc.
Williams would have 13 points in the third, helping the Hawks outscore Memphis 32-13 in the period, for a 73-60 lead entering the fourth.
That was enough for Atlanta to withstand a Memphis push that got the Grizzlies within six points on at least two occasions in the fourth.
Both times, Smith scored inside, the second time also drawing a foul. That was part of Smith scoring seven straight Atlanta points, and when Williams connected on his fourth 3-pointer of the night, the Hawks had stretched the lead back to double digits.
NOTES: Both teams were playing the second game of a back-to-back. .The game was the nightcap of a doubleheader at the FedExForum. The University of Memphis defeated Austin Peay 83-65 in an afternoon contest. . Hawks G DeShawn Stevenson was available, but did not play for Atlanta because it was the second night of a back-to-back. Meanwhile, G Kyle Korver missed fourth straight game with back spasms. .Memphis had won 20 of its last 21 at home before the loss. .Gay had 17 points, scoring five points in the last minute, marking his 21st consecutive game with at least 14 points.
Updated December 8, 2012