Hawks take down the Grizzlies 120-105

61 minutes and eight seconds remained until tip-off. The game hadn’t started, yet every fan in State Farm Arena could feel the energy levels rising as each second ticked away. 

Jaren Jackson exited warmups to head back to the locker room but was surrounded by a pack of fans waiting to take pictures with the DPOY candidate. 

Needless to say, this game had emotions and the hype was warranted.

Despite Trae Young and John Collins not playing, the Hawks went on to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 120-105 and now sit at 35-35 in the Eastern Conference standings.

As expected, the first quarter was an offensive contest. Both teams sit top-10 in the league in points per game and the first quarter explained just why. Eight Hawks players scored in the first quarter. 

Guard Delon Wright showed he’s capable whenever his number is called.  Wright scored 11 points and dished out three assists in just the first 12 minutes of the game. Memphis guards Ja Morant and Desmond Bane contributed for a combined 16 points in the first quarter as well. 

As the second quarter unfolded, it was apparent the Hawks had come to play. They had an edge tonight that, quite frankly, fans had been waiting all season to see. 

By the end of the first half, the Hawks had out-rebounded Memphis, kept turnovers to a minimum, were shooting 51% from the field and 54% from three. Most importantly, the score was 67-48 heading into the second half. They had 15 assists and only turned the ball over three times. 

The Grizzlies had a few comeback attempts throughout the game, but the Hawks were ready to retaliate throughout. Bogdan Bogdanovic sealed the deal in the fourth when he scored 13 points on 5-6 from the field. Bogdanovic has sealed his role on this team and Coach Nate McMillan knows just how crucial he is.

“He’s [Bogdanovic] become our #1 option coming off the bench,” said McMillan. “That position has worked out for him and we’re putting the ball in his hands. In our last game his shot wasn’t falling, but tonight he found a rhythm and made some really good plays when they began to trap.” 

In tonight’s matchup, they shot 50% from the floor and forced Memphis to commit 16 turnovers.  The Hawks play again on Mar. 20 and Coach McMillan knows just how important it will be to use the momentum from this game. 

“On Sunday, we’ve got to be solid against New Orleans,” said McMillan. “We have to establish our defense and put together a 48-minute game. This was a really big win for us.”