The Memphis Grizzlies were able to make another big 4th quarter run with the help of Mike Conley to defeat the Atlanta Hawks 108-101. Conley had a team-high 21 points and 13 assists. Tonight’s win for Memphis snapped Atlanta’s three-game winning streak against the Grizzlies in FedEx Forum.
No question that Mike Conley has earned the right now to be the Grizzlies go-to-guy down the stretch. Conley finished the fourth quarter with 8 points and six assists. Conley was responsible for 23 of Memphis’ first 25 points in the fourth quarter, either through made baskets or assists.
Conley was getting to the paint with ease and was able to get guys such as Mike Miller, Courtney Lee, and James Johnson open shots .This has been Mike Conley’s best week of his career, and Coach Joerger believes he should be recognized for it.
“He should be Western Conference player of the week or month or something,” Coach Joerger said after the game.
Memphis shot .518 (43-of-83 FG) from the field in tonight’s game, snapping a six-game streak in which Atlanta had held its opponents to under .450 shooting from the field. The Grizzlies are now 22-2 dating back to the start of last season when shooting .500 or better from the field, including a 6-1 mark this season in such games.
It seems crazy that a few weeks ago that many people were worried that this team couldn’t find outside shots. Now, after the James Johnson signing and the Jerryd Bayless trade, the performances of Conley, Miller, Johnson, and Lee have changed that perception.
The newest member of the Memphis Grizzlies Courtney Lee started for the first time tonight, replacing Tony Allen due to injury, and had quite the performance with the starting lineup. Lee would end the night with 15 points (7-of-12 FG) as well as two assists, a season-high tying two steals and season-high tying two blocks.
The Grizzlies defense came through down the stretch as well tonight against the Hawks. Memphis recorded a season-high 13 steals and converted 15 Hawks turnovers into 25 points. The defensive stat of the night is that the Hawks only allowed one three-pointer from one of their best 3-point shooters Kyle Korver, whose streak still continues of consecutive games with a made three-pointer.
“How ironic would it have been that they had not gotten three offensive rebounds in that possession for him to get his three-point shot and end the streak here in Memphis and on a night where Mr. Grit and Grind (Allen) did not play,” Joerger on Korver’s one three point make against Memphis.
Overall, this was great win for the team and continues to build momentum as they face the Oklahoma City Thunder without Russell Westbrook. These are wins that you need to keep this confidence going once Gasol returns and have the fans build their confidence as well.