Hawks' Dejounte Murray name-drops Pelicans star after costly loss

Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray had strong thoughts on New Orleans Pelicans wing Herb Jones after his team's costly loss.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones and Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray
New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones and Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks (29-35) had their winning streak snapped at three games, falling 116-103 to the New Orleans Pelicans on March 10.

Dejounte Murray finished with 23 points, adding 11 assists, one rebound, and one steal. He even went 4-for-10 from beyond the arc. But Murray struggled from the floor overall, shooting 35% on the night. 

He attributed a lot of that to Pelicans wing Herb Jones.

“They did a great job, not just on myself. But, obviously, being the point guard,” Murray said of the defensive focus he received via Jameelah Johnson on March 10. “Herb Jones, first team All-Defensive guy. I love it. I love the way he plays and the way he competes.”

Murray got five of his points in seven trips to the free throw line. And he had four turnovers on the night.

The Hawks were plus-1 in the turnover margin. But they shot just 41% from the floor as a team.

“They're a long team and they play physical, play together. And things just didn't go our way,” Murray said. “They started off pretty well and they were physical and punched first. And it was tough for us just to try to find a rhythm in a run, a good run. But other than that, I think we still competed. We didn't give up.”

Jones had seven points, three blocks, two assists, two steals, and one rebound in the contest, finishing with a neutral plus-minus.

The Hawks’ reconfigured bench was outscored 51-20.

Hawks lose Saddiq Bey to injury

They were without Trae Young, Jalen Johnson, and Onyeka Okongwu, each of whom is sidelined with an injury. Things got even bleaker for the Hawks, with Saddiq Bey also suffering what the team termed as a hyperextended knee.

Bey went down in the fourth quarter while attempting to go up for a layup, his knee buckling before he crumpled to the floor.

Head Coach Quin Snyder had little in the way of details postgame.

“Nothing I can give you guys now,” Snyder told reporters. “They'll go through all the protocols as far as evaluating him and whatever is called for as far as finding out exactly what's going on. Obviously, you guys saw the play. So, hopefully, he's all right.”

Bey stayed in to shoot the free throws on the play that resulted in the injury. But he was swiftly ruled out after making his way to the locker room.

He finished the game with 14 points, five rebounds, and two assists.

Dejounte Murray gets honest about Hawks' injuries

“That's been the thing for us all year,” Murray said of the challenges the Hawks injuries have presented. “Just trying to get healthy and see what we can do with everybody healthy. So we've just been dropping guys and dropping guys. But I feel like that just out of [our] control. You wish the best for them, and we're going to support him.

“Hopefully, he can get back as soon as he's healthy. But it's tough. And I think injuries is what comes down to dictating how your season goes for a lot of teams. A lot of teams want to be healthy, especially around this time.”

The Hawks are set to embark on a five-game road trip that includes three straight contests against playoff teams.

They are 2-1 in their previous matchups against teams they will see on this trip.

However, the Hawks are 13-18 on the road and 15-24 against teams with winning records this season. They are set to be extremely short-handed for a critical stretch of the regular season.