The Atlanta Hawks have been off to a fantastic start to the season as they entered the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans tonight, 5-1. A five-game winning streak was in effect.
Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap each scored 22 points for Atlanta as they squeaked by New Orleans despite 43 points from Anthony Davis.
The Pelicans got off to a hot start versus the Hawks, as they built up an early 10-4 lead. Dennis Schroder's efficiency of driving to the rim helped the Hawks get back into the game as it was still a 28-26 deficit in New Orleans' favor at the end of the first quarter.
The Pelicans' lead would not last for long. An 11-2 run was created by the Hawks in the beginning of the second quarter, and they gained control of the game with a 37-32 lead.
Ryan Anderson managed to cool Atlanta down with a three-pointer to make it a 43-37 game with 5:30 left in the first half. A Kyle Korver three-ball and a few finishes at the rim by Dennis Schroder soon gave the Hawks a double digit lead at 52-39. Atlanta went into halftime with a 58-47 lead. The Hawks dominated the Pelicans in the paint with a 24-14 advantage.
Early in the third quarter, a Kent Bazemore three-point play gave the Hawks their biggest lead of the game at 15 points. Anthony Davis was the only hope for the Pelicans to hang around in the period. He was able to finish at the basket and was able to earn trips to the free-throw line.
Davis tied his career-high in points for the game with 43 and added 10 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and four steals. Eric Gordon was also able to deliver some fire power with 22 points on 3 of 7 three-point shooting. Atlanta still led New Orleans 89-79 after three quarters.
The Pelicans made the game interesting in the fourth quarter, as they attempted to pull out all of the stops in order to avoid going 0-5. A technical foul early in the quarter by Pelicans' head coach Alvin Gentry gave the Hawks a 91-79 advantage.
Kyle Korver soon knocked down a three-ball that made it a 96-79 lead. New Orleans then got into a rhythm and all of a sudden, an Eric Gordon layup made it a six-point game at 102-96 with 6:41 left in the game. It was an 11-4 run.
Gordon then cut the deficit to two after a pair of free throws. The Pelicans tied the game at 106 but Kyle Korver quickly changed that as a clutch three-pointer was made that gave the Hawks a 111-108 lead with 3:18 left in the game.
Korver was clutch all night long as he was 8 of 8 from the field. Jeff Teague tacked on the lead with a layup to make it 113-108. There was controversy about that score due to the ball hitting the back of the hoop prior to Teague gaining a rebound to get a second chance. The Hawks opened up a 7-0 run and were able to execute their late-game free throws to hold on for the 121-115 win to improve to 6-1 and move to first in the Eastern Conference.
The Hawks are back at it tomorrow night as they will face their division rivals Washington Wizards at home. The Pelicans will head to Dallas tomorrow to face the Mavericks in search of their first win of the season.