A 20-hour trip and late arrival didn't take the fight out of the Atlanta Hawks.
The Hawks made their way through a winter storm to get to Memphis, but played hard for 48 minutes once they did before the Grizzlies escaped with an 84-83 victory Saturday night.
``It was an unbelievable effort,'' Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. ``We came in and fought from beginning to end. ... I would loved to have seen us come out of here with a win.''
The Hawks were stranded in Atlanta overnight as icy conditions prevented them from flying out after Friday's loss to Miami. The team arrived at the FedExForum with a police escort about 90 minutes before the 8 p.m. CST tip-off-- an hour later than originally scheduled.
Jason Williams scored 23 points and had eight assists, while Mike Miller added 21 points to lead the Grizzlies.
Tyronn Lue's fall-away 10-footer at the horn for Atlanta bounced off the rim, sending the Hawks to their fourth straight loss.
``We had a chance to win that game,'' Lue said. ``We tried to go inside to Al (Harrington), but they switched to a different front, and we couldn't get it in like we wanted to, so we had to attack the basket.''
Despite the extended travel, Atlanta had enough energy to build a third-quarter lead and hold an advantage until a 3 by Miller and a jumper by Williams in the final 2:03 gave Memphis the lead for good.
``That three that Miller hit, I mean with the clock going down, that was a big shot,'' Woodson said.
Shane Battier finished with 15 for Memphis, which has won seven of its last nine.
Harrington led the Hawks with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Lue and Antoine Walker had 17 points each. Tony Delk scored 15 off the bench.
Memphis players sensed the long trip may have given the Hawks a boost, instead of worn them out.
``They are going to come out and try to prove something,'' Miller said. ``It was one of the slugfests really. The bottom line is we got the win.''
The Grizzlies were effective early with a fast-paced transition game, but seemed to abandon the strategy, settling for jumpers with less success. That, coupled with poor ball-handling and ineffective half-court offense, provided the Hawks with a seven-point lead early in the final period.
Memphis, playing without injured forwards Pau Gasol and James Posey, shot 62 percent in the first quarter, and had 18-2 scoring advantage in the paint. The Grizzlies led 27-19 after the first quarter.
Delk and Josh Smith, who finished with 10 points, led a Hawks' second-quarter rally. Delk hit three 3-pointers, and Smith connected on three straight Atlanta buckets, including a thunderous dunk. Another Smith dunk near the end of the quarter tied the game 46.
Memphis still couldn't shake the Hawks through the third, and Atlanta closed the quarter with five straight points for a 69-64 lead entering the fourth.
Atlanta managed just 14 points in the fourth quarter.
``We didn't have as good a defense in the second or third, but in the fourth we stepped it up,'' Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. ``We had two turnovers there toward the end but were fortunate to escape without any damage.''
With 2 big scoring guys on the IL, this game would definatley be a hard fought victory.Both Posey(who was put on the IL right before the game) and Gasol were out, but Jason Williams stepped up and led us too a close victory. We are slowly climbing up, but we need more wins, and faster. Lets keep up the good work guys!