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Atlanta Hawks (23-45) get big boost from rookie Kevin Huerter’s 27 points to beat New Orleans Pelicans (30-39) 128-116.
Huerter scored 17 of his 27 points in the second quarter alone. “Honestly, the last couple of games I’ve been struggling around the rim. That was an emphasis for me going into this game,” stated Huerter.
Hawks started off sluggish early on going 3-10 in the first six minutes. After a timeout, Atlanta got together hitting five out of their next six.
Meanwhile the Pelicans stared out 7-14 from the field and finished the first quarter hitting 7-9 from behind the three-point arch.
Atlanta trailed by as much as 10 by in the second quarter but went on a 10-0 run.The Hawks scored 39 points alone in the quarter. The Hawks trailed 66-65 at the end of the half.
The defense of the Hawks carried the team in the second half and stifled the Pelicans offense.
“I thought our guys responded extremely well protecting the paint. A lot of it was about being able to protect the paint, in the fourth quarter particularly,” said coach Lloyd Pierce.
New Orleans was lead by Frank Jackson and Julius Randle who each scored 23 points. After the strong start, The Pelicans couldn’t score consistently.
“We were playing really good basketball and then we kind of got out of our lane,” stated coach Alvin Gentry. “We started taking some bad shots, questionable shots because we didn’t have floor balance.”
Anthony Davis scored 15 points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes. He sat the entire fourth quarter. “It’s basketball man. You can’t let anyone steal your joy. You go out there and play the game that you love, you gotta have fun. When you’re in between those lines, nothing else matters,” stated Davis.
The Hawks next opponent will be the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.