Hawks waste halftime lead, fall to Grizzlies

  • Pete Wickham
  • Special to the AJC
10:53 p.m Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 Homepage
Brandon Dill/AP
Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince, left, drives against Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans (12) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

MEMPHIS – For the second time in two nights, the Hawks found themselves matched against a team as thirsty for a victory. And once again, Atlanta left the floor with parched lips, allowing the free-falling Grizzlies to rally for a 96-94 victory Friday night at FedEx Forum. 

The Grizzlies, as they had done all night, chipped away at Hawk leads, the last an 89-81 advantage. Mario Chalmers hit a pair of threes and a layup, the second three making it a 94-all game with 1:44 to play. Taurean Prince missed a 10-footer and Tyreke Evans broke the tie with a layup with 1:03 left. 

Dennis Schroeder missed a jumper, but Kent Bazemore stole the ball from Grizzlies’ All-Star center Marc Gasol with 9.43 seconds left. Atlanta, however, missed on three-point tries by Ersan Ilyasova and Bazemore on the final possession, and the Hawks went down to their sixth loss in seven starts and fell to 6-23. 

Bazemore led the Hawks with 19 points. Schroeder had 18 points and 11 assists, but shot 5-of-18 from the floor. Prince had 17 points and Marco Bellinielli added 14.

Evans led the Grizzlies with 22 points, including 4-of-5 three-point tries. Chalmers had 16 off the bench. Gasol had all 13 of his points in the third quarter, when the Grizzlies pared a 12-point Hawk lead to 73-72. Andrew Harrison had 10 points, and hit all three of his shots from beyond the arc. 

It snapped a five-game losing streak for Memphis, which after a 7-4 start has gone 2-16 without injured point guard Mike Conley. 

The Hawks, who lost a 105-91 home decision to Detroit Thursday, will be back at Philips Arena Monday against Miami.