Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 3/16

Game 1: Sunday, March 16th
Game 2: Saturday, April 5th

Hawks 92

(27-40, 7-27 away)

Grizzlies 124


    3:00 PM ET, March 16, 2003

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 21 20 29 2292
    MEM 39 31 28 26124

    Top Performers

    Atl: S. Abdur-Rahim 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Stl

    Mem: S. Battier 22 Pts, 8 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Grizzlies win sixth straight, No. 24 on the season

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

    Pau Gasol

    Shane Battier

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 92 124
    FGM-FGA 35-91 (.385) 50-89 (.562)
    3PM-3PA 0-10 (.000) 9-18 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 22-29 (.759) 15-15 (1.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-33 13-56
    Assists 16 36
    Turnovers 9 15
    Steals 10 6
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 6 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 24 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Shareef Abdur-Rahim Abdur-Rahim
    Points: 20
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Shane Battier Battier
    Points: 22
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1