The Hawks had won five games in a row heading into Friday night’s match up with the New Orleans Pelicans. Now that they are healthy again, Atlanta has been starting to click on all cylinders, and our own Wes Morton writes that they’ve been playing better basketball because of it.
This was no easy task though, as Anthony Davis has been an absolute monster, and the Pelicans have the potential to score the ball. The game was a lot of back-and-forth for the first three quarters, but the Hawks broke down in the final period. The Pelicans went on a 22-4 run in the second half to put themselves in prime position, and Atlanta’s defense was lousy at best.
The Hawks gave up 67 points in the second half, including 42 in the fourth quarter. Luke Babbitt surprised everyone with some three-pointers late, and the Pelicans won behind 34 points and 11 rebounds from Anthony Davis. Paul Millsap had 20 points to lead the birds, but it wasn’t enough to continue the winning streak. Shelvin Mack, who started for the injured (back) Kyle Korver, filled in nicely with 18 points and 4 assists. Jeff Teague continued his impressive stretch of games with 26 points and 8 assists.
The Pelicans used those clutch shots from Babbitt to take a 111-105 win, and Atlanta showed some serious defensive issues in this one. New Orleans shot 51% from the floor. The Knicks topped the Sixers on Friday, so the lead for the eighth seed is now only three games. The Hawks are back in action on Sunday in Toronto against the Raptors. Hopefully their defense can get back on track.