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Grizzlies win sixth straight, No. 24 on the season

3/16/2003

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Memphis Grizzlies are winning so often
they're setting franchise records along the way.

The Grizzlies got their sixth straight victory -- the longest
winning streak in franchise history -- with a 124-92 win Sunday over
the Atlanta Hawks.

The victory also marked the first time the Grizzlies have won 24
games in a season. They had 23 victories last season and the season
before.

During the streak, the Grizzlies' margin of victory has averaged
18.7 points.

"The last six games have been fun,'' said Shane Battier, who
had a season-high 22 points. "We've scored a lot of points and
played the game like it's supposed to be played.''

Pau Gasol also had 22 points, while Stromile Swift had his sixth
straight double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

Lorenzen Wright, who returned after missing seven games because
of the death of his infant daughter, had 21 points. Wesley Person
added 14 and Jason Williams had 11 points and nine assists.

"There was a lot of emotion. I was very excited to get back out
there and play in front of the crowd, to just get out there and get
back in the flow of things,'' Wright said. "I didn't want to come
out there and rush myself and start messing up.''

Wright drew a standing ovation when he entered the game with
3:27 left in the first period. He also drew applause and waved to
the crowd when he left for good with 1:54 left to play.

"I think that this 24th win is a testimony,'' said Memphis
coach Hubie Brown. "In a stretch of six wins, these are the teams
that you have to beat if you want to go against the plus-.500
guys.''

The Grizzlies are 11-6 since the All-Star break and have
defeated Indiana, Utah, New Jersey and New York.

Memphis controlled the game from the beginning and broke for
intermission with a 29-point advantage, 70-41 -- the largest
halftime lead in team history.

The lead grew as high as 34 in the final period.

"They just got that momentum going early. We didn't do much to
take away any of that momentum,'' said Atlanta coach Terry Stotts.

The Hawks were led by Glenn Robinson with 23 points and Shareef
Abdur-Rahim and Jason Terry with 20 each.

The Grizzlies' largest lead of the first half, 66-34, came with
2:34 left in the second quarter on a 12-foot jumper by Swift, who
had eight points and 12 rebounds in the half -- two rebounds short
of the team record for a half.

The Hawks, who never led, missed their first nine shots of the
game and hit only 33.3 percent from the field in the first period.
Memphis, meanwhile, shot 80 percent.

"Maybe if we got off to a better start and made some of those
early jump shots, the tone of the game would have been a little
different,'' Stotts said.

Battier said the Grizzlies are feeling good "because we are
playing well.''

"It's a lot different from last year and doesn't feel like
we're just playing out the rest of the season,'' he said.

Game notes
Grizzlies F Mike Miller missed a second consecutive game
with back spasms. He has missed seven games since his trade to
Memphis from Orlando on Feb. 19. ... Hawks C Nazr Mohammed, who has
a stress fracture in his right foot, is scheduled for surgery
Monday in Louisville, Ky. ... The Grizzlies have scored at least 61
points in the first half in three of their past five games. ...
Memphis is 16-11 when scoring 100 points or more. ... The Grizzlies
are 12-4 when shooting 50 percent or better. They shot 56.2 percent
against Atlanta. ... Eight Memphis players scored in double
figures, a team record.