Hawks Struggle Down the Stretch, Fall to Pelicans

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
By Robby Kalland

Atlanta Hawks v New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans (21-27), led by Anthony Davis — 27 points and 10 rebounds — were able to outlast the Hawks (25-23) in New Orleans on their way to a 105-100 victory. The Hawks got a strong effort from All-Star Paul Millsap with 26 points and nine rebounds, but their inability to finish around the rim and some costly fourth quarter turnovers proved to be too much to overcome.

Hawks vs. Pelicans
Photo Gallery

Atlanta was hot shooting from the perimeter going 14-of-30 from three-point range, but struggled from inside the arc shooting just 44.4% from two-point range. The Hawks, particularly late in the second and throughout the third quarter, created good offensive looks and were able to get Carroll and Millsap going from the three-point line when the Pelicans helped elsewhere.

On the defensive end for the Pelicans, Davis effected the Hawks shot attempts around the rim as they were constantly adjusting their shot in anticipation of a contest from the long-armed star, which was a big reason for their low shooting percentage from two-point range. Davis was 9-of-14 from the field and showed off his full repertoire of moves on his way to another double-double. Davis proved problematic because of his mid-range success and then his ability to go at defenders with a dribble-drive when they closed out.

Along with Davis, the Pelicans got big games from Eric Gordon and Brian Roberts — who combined for 37 points–  as well as Anthony Morrow off the bench with 16 points. New Orleans shot 46.5% from the field and made only five three-pointers, but they were 20-of-22 from the free throw line which allowed them to ice the game away down the stretch.

DeMarre Carroll had a huge night offensively with 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting along with seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Carroll drilled 4-of-6 from the three-point line as he continues a hot-streak of shooting. Millsap (10-for-20) and Lou Williams (3-for-6 with 11 points) were the only other Hawks to shoot 50% or more from the field.

The rest of the Hawks struggled shooting, which was a real problem down the stretch when the Pelicans put a lot of focus on stopping Millsap. Jeff Teague had 11 points and created well for others with 13 assists, but struggled finishing on his own going 5-for-14 from the field, with two makes on late layup attempts.

Mike Scott looked good for the first three quarters and finished with 16 points  — his 12th consecutive game in double-figures. Unfortunately, Scott wasn’t able to find his range in the fourth quarter, and had a costly turnover as he was unable to reel in a Kyle Korver pass late in the fourth after the Hawks had cut the Pelicans lead to five.

As for Korver, he extended his three-point streak to 117 consecutive games with a second quarter three-pointer, but finished with just six points on 2-of-6 shooting (2-of-5 from three).

The Hawks finished the game with only 11 turnovers leading to eight Pelicans points, but a few of those came late and their offensive execution down the stretch was not up to their usual standard. The lack of ball movement and pace late in the fourth was disconcerting as Atlanta struggled to create open shot attempts, and were forced into a number of late shot clock attempts.

Tweet of the Night

The Hawks will have two days off before their next contest at home on Saturday night against the surging Grizzlies, as they will look to even that season series.

Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images

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