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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- ATLANTA 28 26 24 23 101 VANCOUVER 7 24 15 30 76 FINAL
Alan Henderson and Mookie Blaylock each scored 20 points as the Atlanta Hawks destroyed Vancouver, 101-76, holding the Grizzlies to a franchise record-tying seven points in the first quarter.
Atlanta, which jumped out to a 28-7 lead after one quarter, improved to 16-0 against the two Canadian teams, including a 6-0 mark against the Grizzlies. The Hawks also set a franchise mark for fewest points allowed in a quarter.
The up-and-down Hawks have won four of their last five games after losing three straight to move 10 games over .500 (34-24).
"We are starting to play the way we were early in the year," said Atlanta coach Lenny Wilkens. "We made a commitment that we've got to defend. I don't care what time of the game it is, you got to play hard. We're trying to take that right to the end of the season. A great defense makes the offense."
The Grizzies shot 16 percent (3-of-19) from the field in the first quarter and just 35 percent (30-of-87) for the game. Vancouver also scored seven points in the third quarter against the Chicago Bulls on January 27th.
"We started shooting bad and everything snowballed from there," Vancouver coach Brian Hill said. "We really couldn't do anything. You can't control making shots, but we can control the other end of the floor. We didn't do a very good job with the defense and rebounding and it's a step back from the direction I thought we were taking last week."
After Vancouver got its first points on Bryant Reeves' jumper, Atlanta scored 18 straight points, opening a 22-2 advantage with 2:41 left in the quarter on a driving layup by Blaylock, who had nine points in the period.
"You have to be able to come out and put pressure on a young team like that," said Blaylock. "We knew we could do it and tonight that pressure got us a lot of easy baskets."
"Every time they tried to penetrate, they just saw the tower standing waiting for them," said Atlanta center Dikembe Mutombo, who had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. "They couldn't finish and became more agitated about coming inside and it took them off their game."
Christian Laettner added 18 points and 12 rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench for the Hawks, who rattled off 16 straight points run to open a 78-46 lead at the end of the third quarter.
"We just couldn't get anything to go down," Grizzlies forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim said. "On the other end, they were getting a lot of second efforts and we didn't defend them well, so that made it tough."
Atlanta built its biggest lead at 86-48 on Laettner's two foul shots with 9:51 remaining. Vancouver ended the game with an 11-2 run to make the final score somewhat respectable.
Reeves and Pete Chilcutt each scored 16 points for the Grizzlies, who have lost six straight games and 13 of their last 14. Vancouver (14-43) still is looking for another victory to surpass last season's win total
"I don't think we match up well against them," said Vancouver guard Blue Edwards, who was held to four points. "They're very well-coached and a very solid defensive team with Mookie creating the high pick-and-roll along with Mutombo. Those two are great defensive players. That puts a lot of pressure on your offense and tends to disrupt you."
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