Bazemore satisfied with Hawks’ energy despite loss

  • Pete Wickham
  • Special to the AJC
12:03 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 Sports
Brandon Dill/AP
Atlanta Hawks guard Kent Bazemore walks off the court after an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies defeated the Hawks 96-94. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

MEMPHIS -- Kent Bazemore would have liked another square foot or two of space, and another 2-3 tenths on the clock for that last-gasp three-pointer that couldn’t keep the struggling Hawks from a fourth straight loss, 96-94 to an equally victory-starved Memphis Grizzlies team Friday night at FedEx Forum. 

Still, Bazemore said there was nowhere near the aftertaste he had after Thursday’s 105-91 home loss to a Detroit team that had lost seven in a row. 

“It’s a tough loss, but there was lot sof good stuff to the game tonight,” said Bazemore, who led Atlanta with 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting, and came up with a steal on Marc Gasol with 9.4 seconds left to give the Hawks one more shot. “I thought the energy was so much better than last night. We weren’t able to weather the storm but there are parts of tonight’s game we can build on.” 

Dennis Schroeder shot just 5-of-18 from the field but had 18 points (thanks to 7-of-8 foul shooting) and 11 assists. “We’ve got to keep pushing and finding the light,” Schroeder said. “It’s a 48-minute game and we did it for probably 45 night. A rebound here, a steal there and we could have held them off.” 

Taurean Prince added 17 points, including a career-best 5-of-7 from three-point range. He got an offensive rebound off a missed Ilyasova three and got the ball to Bazemore. 

It came after the Grizzlies wiped out an 89-81 lead in the final few minutes the same way they had been chipping away at Hawk leads all night. They turned 17 Atlanta turnovers into 22 points on a night where the Hawks forced 22 Grizzlies’ turnovers and converted them into 21 points. 

Both teams hit 12 three-pointers. From the arc the Grizzlies got a 4-of-5 effort from Tyreke Evans, who led all scorers with 22 – including the driving layup with 1:03 left that broke a 94-all tie. Mario Chalmers added two of his three treys during the run back from the 89-81 deficit. Andrew Harrison hit all three of his shots from beyond the arc. 

“To be honest Kent had enough time and had a good look at the end, but it wasn’t just about that shot,” Prince said. “There were a lot of things in the last three minutes … we’ve got to tune some things up, and do a better job of finishing up games.” 

Coach Mike Budenholzer wasn’t nearly as unhappy with this game as he was in Thursday’s effort, especially in a runaway second quarter by the Pistons.  

“I feel like the guys were together. They competed,” Budenholzer said. “The energy was good. Back-to-back situation but there were some definite positives to take away from tonight’s game.”

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