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Grizzlies clip Hawks, win 4th game in a row

Memphis erupts for 43 points in the 3rd quarter on their way to ending Atlanta’s 4-game winning streak.
Credit: AP
Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas (17) grabs a rebound in front of Atlanta Hawks forward Onyeka Okongwu (17) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA — Raise your hand if you thought the Memphis Grizzlies would be leading a road game at halftime with Ja Morant, the team’s leading scorer, only scoring two points. Come on now, put your hand down.

Morant ended up with 19 points, helping the Grizzlies beat the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday by a score of 131-113. Grayson Allen had the hot shooting touch, dropping in a season-high 30 points, while Jonas Valanciunas had yet another double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. It was Valanciunas' 19th consecutive double-double, setting a franchise record.

The Grizzlies led 67-64 at the half with Ja Morant only taking 3 shots, making one of them for two points. Morant did not score in the first quarter, going 0-1. In the first half, Dillon Brooks led the Grizz with 14 points, and Jonas Valanciunas added 13 points and 6 rebounds. The bench scored 20 points in the first half: Tyus Jones (7), John Konchar (6), Demond Bane (5), and Xavier Tillman (2). As a matter of fact, Memphis ranks third in the NBA in bench points per game (40.3).

Memphis erupted for 43 points in the third quarter, putting the game out of reach.

The Grizzlies played without Brandon Clarke (calf), Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee), Justise Winslow (thigh), and De'Anthony Melton (leg).The Hawks were without De'Andre Hunter (knee), John Collins (ankle), Kris Dunn (ankle), and Cameron Reddish (achilles).

Wednesday’s game in Atlanta was the second matchup this season for the Hawks and Grizzlies. The Hawks defeated the Grizzlies 122-112 in their last game Dec. 26. Trae Young led Atlanta with 36 points, and Ja Morant paced Memphis scoring 28 points.

The Grizzlies’ road trip continues Friday against the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden. The Grizz improved to 26-23 on the season, as they stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.