All of Johnson's points came in the first half as the Hawks
built an early lead and coasted the rest of the way, leading by as
many as 27 points. The Grizzlies, who won their opener at Houston
on Tuesday night, never led against Atlanta.
For the second straight night, first-round draft pick Rudy Gay
led the Grizzlies in scoring with 15 points, while rookie forward
Alexander Johnson added 13. Kyle Lowry, the rookie guard from
Villanova, finished with 12 points, shooting 10-of-14 from the free
throw line. Chucky Atkins and Brian Cardinal each had 10 points for
Second-year forward Lawrence Roberts logged 35 minutes for
Memphis, grabbing 11 rebounds.
Hawks center Lorenzen Wright and Grizzlies reserve Kimani
Ffriend were ejected late in the third quarter for fighting. The
two faced off under the Grizzlies basket and got into a shoving
match until Cardinal stepped in and pulled Wright, who played the
past five years with Memphis, away from the fracas.
Atlanta led 60-40 at halftime.
The Hawks built a 22-point lead in the first half thanks to poor
ball-handling by Memphis. The Grizzlies committed nine turnovers in
the first 6 minutes, while missing five of their first six shots.
The Grizzlies' 15 turnovers for the half led to 21 Atlanta
Hawks guard Lionel Chalmers did not make the trip after injuring
his right ankle. He will not play in Friday's game against Houston
in Little Rock, Ark.