The Hawks — without John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, Kris Dunn and Cam Reddish — were led by Trae Young’s 30 points and 12 assists. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 21 points.
For the Pelicans — without Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Nickeil Alexander-Walker — Zion Williamson dominated with 34 points. Eric Bledsoe added 14 points.
To begin, you’d be forgiven for thinking that, perhaps, this was going to be a potentially tough night at the office for the Hawks, or certainly one that resembled the Golden State game: a game a little closer than you’d perhaps think was going to be the case, as the Pelicans and Hawks were tied up at 61 points apiece after — at times — a ‘defense optional’ first half.
That said, it was the Pelicans who threw together some stops first and took an early 13 point lead in the second quarter. The Hawks’ second unit let them down somewhat during this stretch but when Young returned to the game, he picked the Pelicans apart to get the Hawks back into the game.
Here, Young circles his way around in the paint, patiently waiting for the opening under the rim which eventually arrives to him:
It was the third quarter, however, where the Hawks made their move, their statement, hitting 11 of their 11 three-pointers in the third quarter: an NBA-record on their way to 46 third quarter points and pulling the Hawks away from the Pelicans, from which they would not recover from.
So, let’s take a look at those 11 three-pointers — the game flipping on its head as the Hawks went berserk from downtown.
The Pelicans initially showed a little more on Trae Young to begin the third quarter, and when the Pelicans don’t go with Clint Capela, Young slips him the ball. From there, Capela bounces the ball to Kevin Huerter, who makes the extra pass to his left to Solomon Hill who hits the three-pointer: