The Memphis Grizzlies were handed their first loss of the preseason when they fell to the Atlanta Hawks 100-88 on Monday night at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion.
Grizzlies guard James Ennis got the Grizzlies going with a smooth score off a Marc Gasol outlet pass, but the Grizzlies struggled offensively in the first half, committing 13 turnovers and shooting 2-for-13 from three-point range. The Hawks reached a double-digit lead nearing halftime 51-41, and put an exclamation mark on the half with an alley-oop dunk from Ersan Ilyasova to John Collins as time expired. The Grizzlies’ starting lineup of Mike Conley, JaMychal Green, James Ennis, Andrew Harrison, and Marc Gasol combined for over half (24) of the Grizzlies’ first-half points.
The Hawks continued their momentum into the second half when they drained a contested three-pointer seconds into the third quarter, but the Grizzlies found their fight, cutting the Hawks’ lead down to as little as four with 8:21 remaining in the third. Despite better offensive efforts, the Grizzlies continued to struggle with turnovers, committing 18 on the night and were unable to regain a lead. The Hawks held the Grizzlies to .432 FG% on the night, an opponent preseason low for the Hawks.
Ennis led the way for Memphis with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting in 25 minutes of action. Gasol led all rebounding with 13.
Four Hawks scored in double figures tonight. Dennis Schröder led the way with 21 points followed by 15 from Malcolm Delaney, Mike Muscala and Taurean Prince finished with 12 points apiece.
The Grizzlies will look for a quick turnaround as they return to FedExForum when they take on the Houston Rockets Wednesday, October 11. Tune in to ESPN or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN for all the action.
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On Marc Gasol’s minutes
It’s always nice to see Marc out there. I really was happy with the way he rebounded the ball. It jump-started our break. He even had one time where he threw an outlet to a guy. That really can ignite us. So I was happy with that.
On Andrew Harrison
I want him to be himself. We’ll coach the mistakes. Obviously we saw some where he should just back off or just move (the ball). But he has to keep moving it. He’s an aggressive, downhill player, a competitive defensive player and I’m always on edge whenever he gets right in that spot.
On the game
I feel good. It’s good to finally get back on the court and get back with the guys, and get used to each other. It was really good to be out there.
On re-establishing chemistry
There’s different levels to it. Even though there are guys like me and Mike that know each other, we still have to adjust to each other and get back. There’s gaps, there’s rhythm, there’s timings of things that we’re still working on. Obviously we’re going to take a lot of the load and a lot of action. So it’s a matter of getting the rhythm back, the timing of things and building that chemistry.
- James Ennis paced the Grizzlies with 14 points.
- Marc Gasol led the team in assists (4) and rebounds (13) while tying for the team lead in steals (2).
- Grizzlies recorded 12 total steals with nine players who had at least one theft.