The NBA is soon approaching the end of the first half of the season and the Memphis Grizzlies appear to have found a groove. Players are settling into their roles. Missing Marc Gasol, Quincy Pondexter and Tony Allen due to injury, on Sunday (Jan. 12) they faced the Atlanta Hawks, rallying for a fourth quarter outburst that resulted in a 108-101 victory.
"We played really, really well together and they looked like they were having fun playing together, which is really a treat when you are a coach and you enjoy being around a great group of guys," said Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger.
"They share the basketball and they make extra passes. They are helping each other on defense and no one is pointing fingers. It's all of us in it and trying to help each other. It's a good feeling right now."
Memphis (17-19) has won two straight and six of the last 10.
Leading the way again Sunday night was starting point guard Mike Conley, who continues to be the go-to-guy down the stretch. He recorded his first 20-point, 10-assist game of the season, scoring eight points in the fourth quarter. He finished with 21 points.
"We talked about him before the game – how well he's been playing," said Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer. "We have a lot of respect of Mike. I think he is one of those guards that is underrated undervalued, or under the radar. There is a lot of respect for him on both ends of the court."
The victory snapped Atlanta's three-game winning streak against Memphis at FedExForum. Memphis had not won at home against the Hawks since April 15, 2009. Memphis has now scored 100 or more points in five consecutive games this season.
"I think it took us a lot of energy just to get back in the game and overcome their runs," said the Hawks' DeMarre Carroll. "We just didn't have enough in the tank."
Memphis tallied a season-high tying 13 steals, while converting 15 Atlanta turnovers into 25 points. The Grizzlies went on an 18-8 run to take their biggest lead of the quarter at 102-92 with 2:46 left in the game.
Zach Randolph posted his 20th double-double in his last 27 games, finishing with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Newcomer Courtney Lee made his first start in Memphis and had 15 points.
Paul Milsap led the Hawks scoring with 21 points.
NOTE: The Grizzlies will face Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday at the FedExForum.