Grizzlies roll in home opener thanks to newcomers Temple and Jackson
MEMPHIS — Newcomer Garrett Temple scored 30 points, rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. added 24 as the Memphis Grizzlies built a first-half lead and coasted to a 131-117 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.
Temple, picked up in a July trade from the Sacramento Kings, missed only one of his 11 shots, making 5 of 6 from 3-point range. Jackson, the fourth overall pick in last summer’s draft, was 8 of 12 from the floor as Memphis collected its first win of the young season.
Taurean Prince led the Hawks with 28 points, while Trae Young, the No. 5 overall pick in the draft, added 20 on 7-for-18 shooting. Miles Plumlee and DeAndre’ Bembry each added 12 points.
Mike Conley finished with 16 points and 11 assists for Memphis.
The Hawks, considered one of the league’s weakest teams, fell way off the pace in the second quarter when the Grizzlies outscored Atlanta 40-28. From there, Atlanta never really threatened and Memphis extended its lead to 25 points in the third quarter.
Memphis, which shot 29.8 percent in Wednesday’s loss at Indiana, reversed that trend against the Hawks. The Grizzlies finished the game connecting on 54 percent of their shots, including 13-for-26 shooting from beyond the arc.
As badly as Memphis played in the season-opening loss to the Pacers on Wednesday, the Grizzlies offense was clicking in the first half. Memphis shot 63 percent from the field, including 10 of 14 from 3-point range. Temple had 20 points before the break, converting all five of his shots from outside the arc.
That helped Memphis match its most points ever in a half for a 77-61 lead at the break.
Prince and Young led the Atlanta offense. Young scoring 16 points, while Prince collected 15.