Friday , Dec , 15 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Grizzlies host Hawks in battle between struggling clubs

(Sports Network) – Two slumping teams look to break sustained losing streaks
tonight at Memphis’ FedEx Forum, where the Grizzlies will take on the Atlanta

Both clubs enter the matchup having lost four consecutive games. If recent
history is any indication, however, the Grizzlies should be able to end their
slide. Memphis has won six straight over the Hawks and four in a row against
Atlanta at FedEx Forum.

The Hawks haven’t beaten the Grizzlies since posting a 97-91 decision in
Atlanta on April 5, 2003.

Memphis has lost its last three home games, though, including Wednesday’s
85-79 setback to Portland. Mike Miller led the Grizzlies with 20 points.

Damon Stoudamire added 15 points in the loss and Chucky Atkins finished with
14 for Memphis, which currently owns the league’s worst overall record.

The Grizzlies should get a needed boost very soon, as star center Pau Gasol is
expected to make his season debut when the club visits Miami on Saturday. The
Spanish standout has missed the entire year because of a broken foot.

Atlanta is coming off a 94-82 defeat to the Knicks Wednesday at Madison Square
Garden. New York led by as many as 30 points in the fourth quarter.

Marvin Williams ended with 23 points and seven boards for the Hawks, who are
just 2-6 during the month of December.

Atlanta has played its last three contests without leading scorer Joe Johnson,
who is suffering from a strained right calf. Johnson, who is averaging a
robust 28.7 points per game, is not expected to be in the lineup again

The Hawks will open up a three-game homestand Saturday against Chicago.
Atlanta is just 4-8 on the road this season and has dropped three in a row
away from home.