Hawks-Grizzlies Preview

The Associated Press

The Atlanta Hawks hit the road looking to match their longest winning streak of the season.

While the Hawks have been struggling away from home, they've mostly dominated in Memphis lately.

Atlanta goes for a third consecutive win and 12th in 14 matchups against the Grizzlies on Sunday.

After beating NBA-best Indiana 97-87 on Wednesday, the Hawks (20-17) slowed down high-scoring Houston in an 83-80 victory Friday. Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver scored 20 points apiece as Atlanta overcame a 10-point first quarter - its lowest output in any period this season.

The Hawks limited the Rockets to their lowest point total and forced 18 turnovers, two nights after causing the Pacers to commit 20.

"It's a real good win for us because it really shows we played some good teams and we actually played some good defense," Millsap said. "It started with the defense and if we continue to keep that up, we'll be fine."

The Hawks, allowing 99.9 points per game, have given up an average of 87.3 over the last four while holding every opponent below 41.5 percent from the field.

"I think the group is really starting to trust each other defensively," said coach Mike Budenholzer, whose team won a season-high three in a row Dec. 16-20. "The competitiveness that they're putting out there, it starts on the defensive end of the court. ... It's just good to see that trust being built up."

While the Hawks have won 10 of 12 at home, they've lost eight of 10 on the road. Their 6-12 road record is easily the worst of any team above .500.

Atlanta, though, has taken 11 of 13 from the Grizzlies since the start of 2006-07, including five of six in Memphis with those victories coming by an average of 13.0 points. Atlanta won there for the third straight time last season before beating the Grizzlies 103-92 at home Feb. 6 behind Jeff Teague's 22 points and 13 assists.

Memphis (16-19) has alternated wins and losses over its last nine games after beating Phoenix 104-99 on Friday. Mike Conley matched a career high with 31 points while Zach Randolph added 20 and 13 boards.

"He's been great," Randolph said of Conley, who scored 30 three nights earlier in a 110-108 overtime loss to San Antonio. "The kid's worked on his game, and he keeps getting better and better."

Conley, averaging a career-high and team-best 18.0 points, is 12 of 23 from 3-point range over the last four games while shooting 52.1 percent overall. He continues to lead the way with All-Star center Marc Gasol still out with a knee injury.

"I'm having fun with it," Conley said. "I've had games where I don't play well, and I'm still trying to carry the load and games where I do. I'm just having fun and trying to help us get wins."

The Grizzlies have also been without defensive specialist Tony Allen (hand) for the last three games. His absence could prove costly as Memphis tries to contain Korver, who is shooting 47.7 percent from 3-point range to rank second in the NBA.

Korver, who has at least one 3 in an NBA-record 106 consecutive games, has keyed Atlanta's last two wins as he's gone 7 of 12 from beyond the arc while averaging 18.5 points. The Hawks are 11-4 when he makes at least three 3s and have won 14 of their last 16 when he scores in double figures.

Atlanta is 4-13 when allowing more than 100 points. The Grizzlies are averaging 108.0 over the last four games, well above their season mark of 96.3.

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