The Atlanta Hawks are the best team in the NBA.They have proven that on a regular basis.Fresh off a big victory over the Western power Golden State Warriors, the Hawks will hit the road for the next three games, starting with Sunday’s matchup with the gritty Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.
Atlanta dispatched the Warriors, 124-116, Friday night at Philips Arena and was led by Jeff Teague’s 23 points. Paul Millsap had 21 points, Mike Scott scored 17 off the bench and Al Horford recorded 12 points and 14 rebounds. The Hawks shot 49.4 percent and posted 30-plus points over the last three quarters.Both teams scored more than 60 points in the second half.
“It was amazing,” said Teague of the playoff-like atmosphere at Philips Arena. “The crowd was into it. Everyone was into it. Kyle (Korver) was yelling. I’ve never seen him yell. That was a first.”
Korver paced the Hawks’ perimeter onslaught with five 3-pointers en route to a 17-point effort and Atlanta finished 15-of-27 from downtown. Scott and Kent Bazemore both made all three of their 3-point attempts.
The Hawks, winners in 12 straight at home, have won two in a row since having a franchise-record 19-game winning streak halted and are 35-3 in the last 38 contests. They are 17-6 away from home and will also visit Minnesota and Boston on the sojourn.Atlanta is 14-3 against teams from the West.
The Grizzlies just went 2-1 on a recent road trip and had an eight-game winning streak stopped with Friday’s close 90-89 loss in Minnesota. Ricky Rubio scored eight points in the final two minutes of the game to lead the Timberwolves and finished with 17.
Marc Gasol, Jeff Green and Mike Conley all had 15 points to lead the Grizzlies, whose eight-game winning streak was one shy of a franchise record. Zach Randolph was limited to six points on 3-of-7 shooting, but finished with 10 boards.
“They wanted it more. They deserved to win because they played harder,” Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger said.
Memphis is still 12-2 in the last 14 games and leads the NBA in opponents’ scoring at 95.9 ppg. It will also welcome Brooklyn to town and is unbeaten in five straight at FedExForum, where the Grizzlies own a 21-5 record.
The Hawks are allowing 96.9 ppg and Sunday’s showdown features two talented frontcourts. Millsap and Horford will bang down low with Gasol and Randolph, while Teague and Mike Conley highlight the backcourt.
NBA releases 02/08/2015
Chicago Bulls -vs- Orlando Magic
selection: Chicago Bulls ML
wager: 5u $
Atlanta Hawks -vs- Memphis Grizzlies
selection: Atlanta Hawks +2
wager: 4.4u $