Memphis clamps down on Atlanta offense
by Charles Odum
Associated Press Sports Writer
February 09, 2014 04:05 AM | 858 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DeMarre Carroll, left, and Paul Milsap react after the Hawks’ loss, in which the Grizzlies won, even with an NBA-record low one free throw attempt.
<Br>Associated Press photo
DeMarre Carroll, left, and Paul Milsap react after the Hawks’ loss, in which the Grizzlies won, even with an NBA-record low one free throw attempt.
Associated Press photo
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ATLANTA — The officials were allowing aggressive, physical play, so the Grizzlies turned up the defensive pressure against Atlanta while setting an NBA record with only one free throw attempt.

Zach Randolph scored 20 points and the Grizzlies set a low-scoring pace in shutting down the Hawks 79-76 Saturday night.

The one free throw attempt for Memphis is the record low since the shot-clock era was introduced in 1954-55, according to STATS.

Memphis players were astonished to see only one free throw on their stat line.

“Wow! Wow! Wow!” Randolph said. “That whole game — wow!”

Randolph said he appreciated the officials allowing the physical play.

“But sometimes, if there is a foul, call it,” he said. “But, you know, let us play.”

Courtney Lee, who had 14 points, made the Grizzlies’ only free throw in the third period. The officials called only 22 fouls — 12 against Memphis and 10 against Atlanta, which was 8-of-15 at the line.

The Hawks were held to a combined 25 points in the second and third periods and set a season scoring low after leading 29-27 following the first period. The Hawks, who were held almost 27 points below their average of 102.7, had a scoring flurry to open the game but couldn’t maintain the pace.

“I think I looked up, they had 22,” Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. “From that point forward they had 54 total. So we really clamped down.”

Paul Millsap had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta, which has lost three straight. The Grizzlies ended a two-game skid.

Atlanta’s Lou Williams missed a 3-pointer with about 1 second remaining.

Memphis has held eight straight road opponents to no more than 90 points. The Grizzlies, one game under .500 at home, are 14-8 on the road.

Nick Calathes scored 10 points for Memphis.

Millsap was scoreless in the second half before his back-to-back baskets cut Memphis’ lead to 77-72 with 1:58 remaining. He added a 3-pointer with 39 seconds remaining to get Atlanta within three points.

A miss by Marc Gasol gave Atlanta the chance for a tying final basket. As the Hawks passed the ball around the perimeter, coach Mike Budenholzer tried to call for a timeout before Williams missed the 3-pointer.

“I wanted the timeout and I wasn’t granted the timeout,” Budenholzer said.

The Grizzlies’ 79 points are the fewest allowed by Atlanta this season.

“To hold a team to 79 points is a good thing in this league,” Budenholzer said. “Offensively, we have to get to our pace and the way we want to play. It’s a credit to Memphis. They want to play a slow-down game.”

Atlanta led 52-50 before Memphis closed the third period with an 11-2 run, including 3-pointers by Lee, Gasol and Mike Miller for a 61-54 lead.

Playing against the team that drafted him in the first round in 2009, DeMarre Carroll scored nine of Atlanta’s first 17 points as the Hawks were sharp in the opening period. A 3-pointer by Millsap pushed Atlanta’s lead to double figures for the first time at 22-12, and baskets by Elton Brand and Williams extended the advantage to 14 points.

Memphis scored the next 10 points as part of a 15-3 run to close the period. Back-to-back baskets by James Johnson gave Memphis its only lead of the half at 31-29. The Grizzlies lost the momentum as the Hawks led 43-37 at halftime.

Kyle Korver extended his NBA record to 118 consecutive games with a 3-pointer when he sank a jumper beyond the arc less than 3 minutes into the game.

NOTES: Two teams shared the previous record-low of two free throws by a team — the Cavaliers against the Warriors on Nov. 26, 1994, and the New Orleans Hornets against the Suns on Nov. 17, 2004. ... The Hawks set their previous season low for points in their 105-79 loss to San Antonio on Jan. 24. ... Memphis was only 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) in the second period. ... Grizzlies G Tony Allen (sprained left wrist) missed his 17th straight game and won’t return before the All-Star break. ... Joerger said PG Mike Conley, held out with a sprained right ankle, is “progressing well.” ... Carroll had 13 points.
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