- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

MEMPHIS, TENN. (AP) - O.J. Mayo scored 26 points and Rudy Gay added 20 to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 98-90 victory over a group of the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks reserves on Wednesday night.

Marc Gasol finished with 19 points for Memphis, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Hakim Warrick added 15 points, and Mike Conley finished with 12 points and seven assists.

Flip Murray led the Hawks with 29 points, including 20 in the second half to keep Atlanta close. Maurice Evans chipped in 21 points.

The Hawks, who were solidly in the Eastern Conferences fourth playoff spot, didn’t bother using their regulars against the Grizzlies (24-58).

Starters Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, Al Horford and Marvin Williams sat out for the Hawks.

With their normal starters in street clothes, the Hawks started Mario West for the third time this season, and Murray got the opening nod for the second time.

Despite the absence of the Atlanta regulars, the Hawks started fast, building an early 10-point lead and staying even with Memphis for awhile as the Grizzlies used their normal rotation.

But the Hawks reserves weren’t up to the defensive task, and Memphis was getting to the baskets for dunks, scoring 32 points in the paint during the first half, and carrying a 53-43 lead into the break.

Mayo had 17 points for Memphis, connecting on seven of his 10 shots in the half. The Grizzlies shot 62 percent in the first two quarters.

Memphis extended the lead to 14 in the early part of the third, but Murray led an Atlanta comeback.

Murray had 18 in the quarter. His layup gave Atlanta its first lead of the second half at 63-62, and his two free throws later tied the game at 65.

Mayo scored seven points in the final minute of the third to help Memphis carry a 72-69 lead into the fourth.

Atlanta would lead again in the fourth, 75-72, but the Grizzlies used a pair of 7-0 runs in the middle of the stanza, eventually building their advantage to 11 in the quarter.

Notes:@ Before the game, the Grizzlies honored Gene Bartow, president of Hoops LP, which operates the Memphis Grizzlies and FedExForum, for his recent induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Bartow was not present for the ceremony. Earlier in the day, it was announced that Bartow, who coached at UCLA, Memphis State (now the University of Memphis) and started the basketball program at UAB, has stomach cancer. The Hawks face the Miami Heat in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

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