Gasol's triple-double helps Grizzlies top Hawks 103-91
Grizzlies bounce back from five-game skid with back-to-back wins on back-to-back nights.
Charles Odum, AP Sports Writer | 3/17/2017, 12:43 p.m.
Marc Gasol's early aggressive tone set the pace for his triple-double and another win for Memphis.
Gasol had 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists and the resurgent Grizzlies beat the Atlanta Hawks 103-91 on Thursday night.
Gasol reached his third career triple-double with his pass to set up JaMychal Green's 3-pointer with 3:10 remaining.
Three triple-doubles look like a big number when it's only the 11th in franchise history. Even so, Gasol downplayed his milestone.
"It's only three, buddy, not 23," Gasol said.
Coach David Fizdale said he could tell the 7-foot-1 center was headed toward a big night when Gasol had a 3-pointer and made two short jumpers in the opening minutes.
"You can see it," Fizdale said. "Can't you tell with Marc? It's like 'I'm going after this one.' You could tell with his aggression about scoring and making plays. I just saw it right away. He didn't pass up shots. He took those shots."
The Grizzlies have won three straight — including road games at Chicago and Atlanta on back-to-back nights — following a five-game losing streak.
"Just a different vibe," said Vince Carter, who had three points as the only Memphis starter who didn't score in double figures.
The Grizzlies had 29 assists.
"We're just playing for each other, playing unselfish basketball," Carter said.
Mike Conley and Green had double-doubles for Memphis. Conley had 22 points and 12 assists, while Green added 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led Atlanta with 18 points.
Memphis led 55-52 at halftime before extending the lead with a 13-4 run to open the second half.
Gasol caused early defensive problems for Atlanta as he scored nine of the Grizzlies' first 14 points. When Dwight Howard was slow to follow Gasol to the perimeter before Gasol made a 3-pointer, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer called a timeout. Paul Millsap and Ersan Ilyasova also tried to defend Gasol.
"He was just picking everybody apart on our defense, no matter who was guarding him," Hardaway said.
Grizzlies: Gasol's last triple-double came in a double-overtime win at New Orleans on Dec. 5. ... Tony Allen and Brandon Wright each had 10 points.
Hawks: Hardaway made two 3-pointers, going 2 of 9. He has at least one 3 in 20 consecutive games, the longest stretch of his career. ... Taurean Prince had 16 points off the bench. Kent Bazemore also had 16. ... Howard had 10 points and 11 rebounds. ... Falcons star Julio Jones had a front-row seat.
40 AND GOING STRONG
Fizdale said Carter's continued production at 40 is a result of his career-long dedication to conditioning. "He's the first guy in the weight room after the game working out, which most guys don't do," Fizdale said. "He's always consistently done it. He's prepared himself over the course of his career to play longer."
TASTES LIKE REVENGE
Memphis atoned for a 107-90 home loss to Atlanta on Saturday — the last of five straight losses. Hardaway said he knew the loss would provide motivation for Gasol and the Grizzlies.
"As a player if you get blown out at home five days ago, you come back with a bad taste in your mouth," Hardaway said.
Ilyasova leads the NBA with 32 charges taken. "I think there's an art to it," Budenholzer said, adding "a willingness to give up your body is one of the big things." The Hawks acquired Ilyasova from the 76ers on Feb. 22 for Tiago Splitter and draft picks, and Budenholzer said the ninth-year veteran's knack for drawing charges is "a nice little added perk," but wasn't the reason for the deal.
Grizzlies: Host San Antonio on Saturday in the first of two games against the Spurs in six days.
Hawks: Open a three-game road trip at Charlotte on Saturday.