By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor
Behind a team-high 26 points, including a career-high four three-pointers, from Al Horford and Paul Millsap’s game-high 16 rebounds along with 19 points, the Atlanta Hawks (8-2) defeated the New Orleans Pelicans (1-7) 106-98 in Philips Arena on Wednesday night.
Jeff Teague posted a double-double for Atlanta with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Dennis Schroder scored 12 points off the bench. Overall, the Hawks shot 48.8 percent from the field and made 10 three-pointers.
Without the services of Anthony Davis who was out with injury, New Orleans was led in scoring by Eric Gordon who had 26 points. Ryan Anderson notched a double-double for the Pelicans with 17 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Ish Smith also had a double-double with 18 points and a team-high 10 assists. For the contest, New Orleans shot 44.6 percent from the field and made 14 three pointers, only hitting three shots from long distance in the second half.
After trailing 56-47 heading into the second half, the Hawks took a 65-63 lead in the third quarter on a three-pointer by Teague. Atlanta ended up taking a 76-75 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Hawks outscored the Pelicans 30-23 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
“We have to play a lot better coming out to start games and not put ourselves in that kind of hole,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. There are a lot of areas to improve and get better. Credit to the players for finding a way to play much better in the second half, especially defensively.”
Atlanta trailed New Orleans 56-47 at the end of the first half. The Hawks’ struggled defensively, allowing the Pelicans to shoot over 61 percent on three-pointers from the field, making 11 out of 18 attempts. Overall, New Orleans shot 48.8 percent in the first half led by Smith’s team-high 16 points. Gordon scored 13 first-half points for the Pelicans.
Horford had a game-high 20 first-half points for the Hawks who shot 46.7 percent from the field overall through the first two quarters.
“We tried a ton of things in the first half and were disorganized,” Korver said. “They (Pelicans) had a bunch of different personnel and lineups out there. We came out in the second half with something we thought would work and stuck to one thing.”