New York, NY – In a game in which they’ve already suffered a loss at home, the New Orleans Pelicans had no chance at a victory against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
After a few minutes of regulation, it looked like the game was over.
New Orleans went on to shoot a season-low nine free throws, with only three on the offensive end, in a game that saw Atlanta miss 15 of its first 20 shots.
It was an ugly, sloppy game.
But it was also the second straight night that Atlanta’s season was on the line, as the Hawks went 3-2 after a win at home against the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday.
The Nets got the win, but it was Atlanta that had its biggest night in a win streak of its own, as they outscored the Pelicans, 56-33.
Atlanta had just six turnovers in the second half.
The Hawks’ defense held the Pelicans to 42 points.
It would take a couple of late buckets from the Pelicans for the game to come to an end, but the Hawks were in control for the first time since the All-Star break.
After the Hawks’ win, they were in a bit of a funk, as coach Mike Budenholzer said he had to rest players who had played through the first two games.
He said the Pelicans would have to make the right decisions going forward.
After going into a bit more of a slump in the fourth quarter, the Hawks ended up winning, 82-74.
The Pelicans had a much better performance on defense and were much better on offense than they had been the previous two nights.
“It’s a huge advantage that we can control the pace and our tempo and be in the paint,” said rookie point guard Dante Cunningham, who played in his first game of the season.
“We’re trying to control the tempo.
We can be much more aggressive and aggressive on offense, and we can put the ball in the hands of the guys that can make shots.”
The Pelicans also won a game against the Charlotte Hornets for the second time in three days, but that was a much different game than the one that they took a two-game losing streak to Atlanta into halftime.
The Pelicans won the first game, 76-70, but Charlotte scored the final 13 points.
Hornets center Kelly Oubre had 13 points and seven rebounds.
Charlotte made 13 of its last 19 shots.
The game had some interesting moments in the first half.
First, Pelicans forward Kyle O’Quinn was pulled by coach Alvin Gentry with 2:06 remaining.
The team was down 17 with 4:27 left.
After getting the ball back, Pelicans guard Quincy Pondexter got fouled on a drive.
Pelicans guard Josh McRoberts missed a dunk attempt and Pelicans center Willie Cauley-Stein made a layup for a 95-91 lead.
The game went to overtime, but Atlanta tied it with a layin at the end of regulation.
The two teams traded free throws and the game went into overtime.
After O’Neill made a jumper, Cunningham missed a jumper and the Hawks tied it again with a jumper from O’Neal with 1:18 left.
O’Quin missed a 3-pointer and the teams went to a timeout.
Cauly was called for a foul and the Pelicans took over.
O’Sullivan was called out for a technical foul on O’Qinn, and he was called up for a free throw attempt that missed.
The Hornets got another technical foul, this time on McRoberts.
The Hawks were able to convert and the next possession, Cauleys dunk was a 10-footer to make it a two possession game.
Orebis’ layup with 4 seconds left gave Atlanta a 66-65 lead, but Hornets center Al Jefferson hit a 3 from the wing that tied it.
The Knicks responded with a 14-3 run to get within 67-65, but Caullys 3-point attempt was tipped over the glass and Caulettys missed a laydown attempt.
The teams traded points and the Knicks led by 10.
Odom made a 3 and the Hornets went on a 9-0 run to make a 12-point lead, with the first basket coming from McRoberts after a jumper by Cunningham.
McRoberts made a driving layup, Cunningham got a layups, and the first Knicks possession was off the board.
The Knicks got a 3 on a jumper.
Cauley, the Hornets’ best player in the opening half, made two 3-pointers, then a jumper for a 10 to put New Orleans up by three.
Caulley then made a pair of free throws to make things interesting for the Knicks.
Oral Roberts had seven points, five rebounds and three assists.
He finished with 10 rebounds.
Pondexter, who had five rebounds, also had seven.
He scored seven points.
McRoberts had four points.