Davis, Pelicans finish strong, beat Hawks 111-105
ATLANTA (AP) Anthony Davis said he still wasn’t at full strength after missing one game with an illness.
New Orleans’ All-Star forward would have difficulty convincing the Hawks.
Davis had 34 points, including 13 in the Pelicans’ fourth quarter, and New Orleans beat Atlanta 111-105 on Friday night.
Atlanta led 71-69 before New Orleans scored 42 points in the final period. The Pelicans took the lead with a 12-0 run that began at the end of the third quarter.
Davis led the scoring but Luke Babbitt and Austin Rivers combined for 15 points off the bench in the fourth quarter.
”Guys stepped up – Luke, Austin – and that’s we’re going to need when guys go down,” Davis said.
New Orleans guard Eric Gordon did not return after leaving the game in the first quarter. Coach Monty Williams said Gordon’s tendinitis in his left knee flared up. Williams said he hopes Gordon can play on Saturday against Miami.
Tyreke Evans had 21 points for New Orleans, which completed a two-game sweep of the season series.
Davis set career highs with 40 points and 20 rebounds in New Orleans’ 121-120 overtime win over Boston on Sunday and then missed a loss to Toronto on Wednesday with a respiratory infection.
”I’m still under the weather, but I didn’t want to miss any more games,” Davis said.
The Hawks’ five-game winning streak ended as they failed in a chance to move into a seventh-place tie with Charlotte in the Eastern Conference.
Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 26 points and eight assists. Paul Millsap had 20 points.
Led by Davis, the Pelicans outscored the Hawks 42-34 in the fourth period. With Davis scoring on three jams in the fourth quarter, the Pelicans made 12 of 16 shots from the field and 16 of 17 free throws in the period.
Brian Roberts had 16 points and Babbitt had 11, while making three 3-pointers.
Hawks guard Kyle Korver was held out with back spasms which developed during pregame warmups. Shelvin Mack scored 18 points as Korver’s replacement.
Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll said the late lineup change ”kind of threw us for a loop. Kyle is a big part of our team.”
Mack’s 3-pointer at the end of the first half pulled Atlanta into a 44-44 tie after New Orleans led most of the half.
Atlanta used an 11-0 run, including seven points by Teague, to take its big lead at 67-60 in the third quarter.
Babbitt entered the game late in the third quarter and made a 3-pointer to start the 12-0 run. He opened the final period with another 3-pointer to give the Pelicans the lead. A steal and jam by Davis capped the run which left New Orleans with a 78-71 lead.
”At the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth quarter, our defense didn’t execute,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ”Luke Babbitt came in and hurt us and of course Anthony Davis hurt us all night.”
Babbitt’s driving basket and 3-pointer from the corner pushed the lead to 93-85. Davis added to the lead, grabbing a rebound of a miss by Babbitt with his right hand and jamming the ball on the same motion.
New Orleans outscored Atlanta 43-27 from the free-throw line.
”We just didn’t give the effort we needed to give,” Carroll said. ”We weren’t aggressive. It backfired on us tonight.”
NOTES: Hawks G Lou Williams had two points and two turnovers after missing seven straight games, including one when he was not with the team. … New Orleans blocked six shots, including two by Alexis Ajinca. … The Pelicans’ 42 fourth-quarter points were the most allowed in any quarter by Atlanta this season. … The Pelicans open a four-game homestand against Miami on Saturday. … The Hawks honored Robin Roberts, a former Atlanta TV sports reporter and host of ABC’s ”Good Morning America,” for her battle with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood and bone marrow disease, and her efforts in promoting bone marrow donations.