After leading 56-47 at halftime, the Hawks came back to outscore the Pelicans by 17 points in the second half (59-42). New Orleans simply couldn't make enough shots and lacked the energy to make one last solid run. They didn't make their first three-pointer of the final half until the fourth quarter, but man was it a different story during the first 24 minutes.
Outside of one stretch where the Pelicans missed 8 straight shots in the first quarter, they connected on 21 of their 35 field goal attempts during the first half. They were absolutely on FIRE from beyond the arc, sinking 11 of their 18 (61.1%) three-point attempts. Luke Babbitt, Ryan Anderson, Ish Smith, Eric Gordon and Toney Douglas all had two long balls apiece. Had they not stepped out-of-bounds once or twice, they might have even added a few more to their impressive total.
Throughout the game, the Hawks bested the Pelicans in the paint, especially when Omer Asik was on the bench. They outscored New Orleans by 16 points and seemed to come up with several important offensive rebounds in the decisive fourth quarter.
Eric Gordon led the way with a line of 26 points, 4 threes, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. For the second straight game, Ish Smith was a factor: 18 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 threes. Ryan Anderson had a double-double with a 17/11 game and Toney Douglas chipped in 12 points.
For the Hawks, Al Horford got off to a ridiculously strong start, scoring 20 of his 26 points by close to the 5 minute mark of the 2nd quarter. Paul Millsap had a 19/16 game and the duo of Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder combined for 26 points and 14 assists.
Stay tuned for Zachary's full recap a little later. It's depressing to think about the 1-7 start to the season, but focus on their effort tonight. It was good and the defensive breakdowns were not problematic until the second half.