Grizzlies 136, Hawks 133, 2 OT

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ATLANTA (AP)—James Posey was dehydrated and badly in need of fluids after starring in a game that lasted 3 hours, 15 minutes.

His persistence was obvious, and so was that of the Memphis Grizzlies.

“We refused to lose,” said Posey, who had 49 minutes of possible 58 of playing time.

He scored a career-high 38 points—including a buzzer-beating 3 to force a second overtime period—and the rampaging Memphis Grizzlies beat the Atlanta Hawks 136-133 Monday night in the highest-scoring NBA game of the season.

Officials reviewed the play to confirm Posey’s shot at the end of the first overtime was launched before time ran out. Posey also hit two free throws with 10.7 seconds left in the second overtime, and the Hawks missed two late 3-point attempts.

Posey also had 11 rebounds, and Jason Williams scored 22 points in the Grizzlies’ sixth straight victory. Memphis is now 5-0 in overtime games, 13-2 this month and an NBA-best 24-5 since Feb. 1.

Posey said his 3-pointer at the end of the first overtime was a planned play.

“I told Shane (Battier) I was going to go up the sideline and to hit me,” Posey said. “I saw a second was on the clock and I was going to give it a chance. It felt good, but a lot of shots feel good and don’t go in.”

A foot injury sent Pau Gasol to the bench, and he soon learned he did not like being a spectator.

“It was bad for my nerves,” Gasol said.

Gasol, the leading scorer and rebounder for the playoff-bound Grizzlies, sprained the arch in his right foot near the end of the first half.

The Grizzlies were limited further after losing forward Stromile Swift with a dislocated finger and Bonzie Wells with a dislocated shoulder.

Memphis coach Hubie Brown hopes all three can return by the weekend. The Grizzlies have three days off before playing host to Phoenix on Friday night and then visiting Minnesota on Sunday.

“We have a big weekend ahead and we can’t risk (Gasol),” Brown said. “There was no way we were going to put him back in the game. Same thing with Swift and Bonzi.”

Gasol scored 16 points in 13 minutes. He said he hurt his foot “trying to change direction, change speed.”

“I don’t know if I stepped on a defender’s foot. … It’s sore. I hope it’s nothing bad and is not going to stop me from playing.”

Stephen Jackson led the Hawks with 28 points. Bob Sura added 23 points with 13 rebounds, and Jason Terry had 23 points. Chris Crawford scored 22 points but fouled out.

The 269 combined points surpassed by seven the total between Atlanta and Washington when the Hawks beat the Wizards 138-124 on March 12.

Hawks rookie Travis Hansen helped set up Posey’s shot by making only one of two free throws with 2.1 seconds left in the first overtime, leaving Atlanta with a three-point lead.

Posey was left open for his game-tying shot from 35 feet when Jackson soared past the Grizzlies’ forward while trying for a steal.

The Hawks, playing for their first three-game winning streak, led 131-130 in the second overtime after two free throws by Sura. Williams hit a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 133-131 lead.

After Sura missed a layup for Atlanta, Williams made one of two free throws for a 134-131 lead. Atlanta settled for two points on a layup by Sura to cut the Memphis lead to 134-133 before Posey’s final two free throws.

“It was terrific basketball,” Hawks coach Terry Stotts said. “We were in a position to win it in regulation, we should have won in regulation and we should have won at the end of the first overtime.”

The Grizzlies secured their first playoff berth in franchise history Sunday.

Terry hit two free throws to give Atlanta a 107-104 lead with 15.2 seconds left, but Williams’ 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds left in regulation forcedovertime.

Notes

Memphis won in Atlanta for the first time. The Memphis had been 0-8 in Atlanta. … The Hawks were the first team in 17 games to score 100 points on the Grizzlies. Memphis had not given up 100 points since a 106-104 loss at Milwaukee on Feb. 27. … Sura recorded his eighth double-double of theseason.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Memphis
J. Posey J. Posey
10-17,  38 Pts
11 Rebs, 3 Assists
 Atlanta
B. Sura B. Sura
5-21,  23 Pts
13 Rebs, 9 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists