Lou Williams scores 19 as Hawks beat Pelicans

Atlanta Hawks guard Lou Williams (6) drives down court against the New Orleans Pelicans in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)
Atlanta Hawks guard Lou Williams (6) drives down court against the New Orleans Pelicans in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

A depleted Hawks team beat a depleted Pelicans team, 126-103, Friday in New Orleans.

Next up, now that their eight-game road trip is done, the Hawks (25-24) will fly back to Atlanta, take Saturday off and host the Warriors Sunday.

Below are some takeaways from the win:

1. Extensive injury reports for both teams left most big names on the bench and rosters depleted, but the supporting cast for the Hawks stepped up, with Brandon Goodwin adding 10 points, rookie Onyeka Okongwu adding 11 points and Tony Snell adding 10 points. The Hawks were without Trae Young (left knee soreness), John Collins (left ankle sprain), Danilo Gallinari (left Achilles soreness), De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness), Kris Dunn (right ankle surgery) and Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness). The Pelicans were missing Zion Williamson (right thumb sprain), Brandon Ingram (right first MTP irritation), Lonzo Ball (right hip flexor strain), Josh Hart (right thumb sprain) and Steven Adams (right ankle soreness). The Hawks had two of their usual starters in Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic and they both had big nights, with Capela adding 14 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks and Bogdanovic scoring 26 points (6-for-11 from 3-point range), with seven rebounds and seven assists.

Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) shoots a three-point basket past New Orleans Pelicans forward Wenyen Gabriel (32) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)
Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) shoots a three-point basket past New Orleans Pelicans forward Wenyen Gabriel (32) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

2. In their highest-scoring third quarter of the season, the Hawks outscored the Pelicans 39-25 to build up a 94-79 lead entering the final period. They started the third quarter off on a 12-2 run and made five 3-pointers after making four the entire first half. Overall, they shot 62.5% from the floor (15-24) and 45.5% from distance (5-11) in the third.

3. After a rough shooting stretch over the past several games, Kevin Huerter bounced back with a season-high 24 points (10-15 field goals, 2-5 from 3-point range, 2-3 free throws), to go with three assists.

4. One of the Hawks’ main goals in acquiring Lou Williams at the trade deadline was to bring a scoring presence off the bench. It’s a small sample size, but so far it looks like they’ve accomplished that. In his second game with the Hawks, Williams had 19 points, eight assists and four rebounds, with one steal and one block to boot. “We know what he’s capable of doing and he is slowly working himself into a rhythm,” interim coach Nate McMillan said. “We’re coming up with some sets and some plays for him and the (second) unit. And he’s doing a good job of initiating some of the offense but also playing off the ball or playing the point and running sets for us. So he’s really done a nice job these two games that he’s played and looking forward to working with him even more.”

5. All in all, the Hawks performed well on their eight-game West Coast road trip, which was tough in terms of both schedule and caliber of competition. Facing numerous probable playoff teams, they went 4-4, which is a good mark for a team hoping to make the playoffs after seasons of rebuilding.

Stat of the game

56.5% (or 49 of 87, what the Hawks shot from the floor)

Star of the game

Bogdan Bogdanovic (led the Hawks with 26 points and went 6-for-11 from 3-point range; he has shot 52.6% from distance over the past six games)

Quotable

“We wanted to pretty much approach this game as if it was the fourth quarter. ... We needed to dig deep, be strong.” (Hawks interim coach McMillan on finishing a long road trip with a win)

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