Pelicans overpower Hawks in blowout win
ATLANTA (AP) — New Orleans overpowered the Atlanta Hawks in the first quarter and kept piling on.
The outcome was never in doubt.
“We just came out hungry,” Tim Frazier said. “We jumped on them from the start. We continued to fight the whole game and we have to credit everyone who stepped on the court.”
Frazier had 21 points and 14 assists, Terrence Jones added 17 points and the New Orleans Pelicans won their third straight game with a 112-94 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
Pelicans forward Anthony Davis returned to begin the fourth quarter after bruising his right knee and missing the second and third periods. Davis, a three-time All-Star and the NBA's leading scorer, finished with 13 points.
New Orleans led by 20 at the end of the first quarter and never let up.
Dennis Schroder and Kyle Korver each scored 14 for the Hawks, who have lost three in a row. Atlanta was tied for the Eastern Conference lead last week but now begins a five-game road trip playing its worst basketball of the young season.
“I think it will be great for us,” center Dwight Howard said. “These early tests are only going to make us stronger.”
The Pelicans have won five of seven and are 3-0 since Jrue Holiday returned after missing the first 12 games to be with his sick wife. Holiday had 15 points, four rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes.
X-rays were negative on Davis, who banged his leg against a chair while chasing the ball out of bounds. He lunged into the fourth row of chairs near the Atlanta bench and came up limping.
Davis walked slowly off the floor and into the locker room, but seemed to move with ease while playing 9 minutes of the fourth.
“We've just got to do the little things, diving on the floor — obviously not into the stands — but rebound the basketball, boxing out and all the little things that matter that probably a lot of the teams overlook,” Davis said. “When you do the little things, it will take care of everything else.”
Since beating Milwaukee on Nov. 16, the Hawks lost Friday at Charlotte when Howard was ejected for a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter and Sunday at New York when Schroder had his worst game in his first season as the starting point guard.
There was nothing marginal about this loss.
New Orleans led by 34-14 after the first quarter and went up by 30 twice in the second. Jones' hook shot made it 51-21 at the 8:09 mark and the Pelicans had a 22-point lead at halftime.
They were up by 35 midway through the third on Frazier's 3-pointer and began the fourth with a 24-point lead.
“Every time it got a little closer they made a big shot or got a stop,” Hawks forward Kent Bazemore said after scoring one point in 18 minutes. “They kept us at arm's length tonight.”
Pelicans: Jones was sick earlier in the day and didn't know how much he'd be able to play, but he made his first five shots and had no turnovers in 28 minutes. “I'm still really sick,” he said. “I just wanted to fight for my team.” … E'Twaun Moore scored 15 points and Solomon Hill added 11. … New Orleans outscored Atlanta 23-9 on fast breaks.
Hawks: Reserve F Thabo Sefolosha, who missed the last three games with a mild sprain in his left knee, had six points and three rebounds in 23 minutes. … Taurean Prince, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Malcolm Delaney each scored 10. … Atlanta was outscored 44-34 in the paint.
Pelicans: Host Minnesota on Wednesday.
Hawks: Visit Indiana on Wednesday.