Hawks face Grizzlies looking to continue success vs. West
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ATLANTA -- Playing at Philips Arena hasn't been a home court advantage for the Atlanta Hawks against fellow Eastern Conference teams. Atlanta's 4-13 intraconference home record is not much better than the dismal 5-21 mark overall on the road.
It is a different story, though, when a Western Conference team visits Atlanta.
The Hawks (16-37) have won six straight at home against the supposedly stronger West and are 7-3 going into Tuesday night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies (18-34).
"It'd be great to beat an Eastern Conference team, too. We play a lot more of them," said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, whose team is 7-26 in its own conference and 9-11 against the West.
The Hawks got just their third road victory against the East on Sunday, snapping an eight-game conference losing streak with a 99-96 victory over the New York Knicks.
Meanwhile, the losses just kept coming for the Grizzlies, who saw their road losing streak go to six games with a 101-86 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
The Grizzlies are 5-29 on the road and 3-15 outside of the Western Conference.
A victory over the East came against the Hawks, the Grizzlies winning 96-94 in Memphis on Dec. 15.
Guard Tyreke Evans put the Grizzlies ahead with a late basket in that game and had a team-best 22 points. He's on the trade block now, though, and was absent from the first three games in Memphis' four-game trip pending a potential deal prior to the Thursday deadline.
"It's a difficult situation," Grizzlies interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. "He understands it, but he didn't want to be absent from the group."
Evans leads Memphis in scoring (19.5) and assists (5.0).
"He's been a great professional for us," Bickerstaff said. "Everything we've asked him to do he's done. He's performed at an extremely high level."
The Grizzlies have played nine games decided by two points or less and the game in Memphis against the Hawks was one of just two victories.
Atlanta got off three shots in the final 3.5 seconds, including guard Kent Bazemore's hurried 3-point attempt that went off the rim at the buzzer.
Bazemore experienced better luck in New York on Sunday, hitting a 3-pointer with 6.7 seconds remaining to put the Hawks ahead against the Knicks.
"I read a book called the 'Zen in the Art of Archery,' Bazemore said. "It talks about just let it go. Let it go and let the energy of the world take care of the rest."
Bazemore scored a team-best 19 points against the Knicks, the same number he had against the Grizzlies in December.
Center Marc Gasol had 20 points to lead the Grizzlies in Sunday's loss at Toronto.
"We were always chasing our tail," Gasol said of a fourth quarter in which the Grizzlies were outscored 25-12.
Guard Mario Chalmers returned after missing two games with a sore left hamstring, but scored just two points in 18 minutes. He had 16 points and four steals in the victory over the Hawks in Memphis.
Updated February 5, 2018