Pelicans.com postgame: Pelicans 105, Hawks 73
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
BILOXI – After three straight nail-biting victories on their preseason-opening road trip, New Orleans players were happy to be 3-0, but not entirely content with their play. Seeking a more complete teamwide performance, the Pelicans got exactly that Sunday afternoon, dominating the Hawks on both ends of the floor. New Orleans shot 56 percent from the field and forced 25 Atlanta turnovers in remaining unbeaten during the exhibition schedule.
Anthony Davis delivered his fourth consecutive excellent preseason outing with 23 points, nine rebounds, two steals and a block, but the Pelicans also had five other players reach double digits in scoring. Davis consistently drained face-up jumpers over the Atlanta defense and was joined by a handful of teammates in contributing significantly to the victory:
· Ryan Anderson was unconscious at times shooting the ball and netted 20 points in just 22 minutes of action. Anderson went 7-for-10 from the field.
· Al-Farouq Aminu showed off his new and improved jumper, making four deep two-pointers. Along with his three dunks, he matched Anderson’s 7-for-10 outing for all of his 14 points. "You can see he's worked on his game," Monty Williams credited of Aminu.
· Jrue Holiday started quickly from long range and finished with 13 points on only eight shots from the field. He was 2-for-3 from the three-point arc.
· Anthony Morrow came off the bench for the first time in preseason but still had 11 points, including seven in the fourth quarter.
· Austin Rivers started at shooting guard and had 10 points, four rebounds and five assists, but was 3-for-10 from the field.
Overall, New Orleans shot 39-for-64 from two-point range (60.9 percent) and outscored Atlanta by 10 points or more in every quarter other than the second period, a very unusual achievement in the NBA. The biggest negative from Sunday’s performance was that New Orleans also coughed up 22 turnovers, a number that Williams discussed after the game.
“I told the guys that this is all white noise,” Williams said of not putting too much stock into a blowout preseason win. “We have got to get better. We turned the ball over 22 times, had a number of defensive lapses, we have a lot to work on. I just told our guys don’t listen to the white noise. We have a lot to work on. We have a new squad, and we still have guys trying to figure things out… Yes, we’re happy about the win, but we have a lot to work on.”