The Atlanta Hawks’ 19-game win streak finally came to an end on Monday night, as they fell to Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans 100-115 in a match that was never really a contest.
The Hawks came into the game having played three games in four nights and it showed. They looked tired in comparison to the surging play of the Pelicans; Anthony Davis once again showed why he is the best big man in the league with 29 points and 13 rebounds (his 28th double-double this season).
‘The Brow’ showcased some ferocious finishing but he wasn’t the only Pelican player who impressed as former Rookie of The Year, Tyreke Evans continued his recent resurgence with 15 points and 12 assists and Eric Gordon added 20 points. Omar Asik was a monster on the boards, grabbing 17 rebounds as the Pelicans out-rebounded the Hawks 52-32.
The Pelicans’ role players also stepped up to make sure New Orleans kept their commanding lead especially Jimmer Fredette, who saw extra playing time after Eric Gordon landed in foul trouble. Jimmer contributed 10 points, including a 3 to take the Pelican’s lead to 17. Ryan Anderson also got 15 as the Pelicans ran out comfortable winners.
It was a great performance from a team who finally looked like their hitting their stride this year and Davis showed his desire to keep this level of play up in the coming weeks.
“We just need to continue to do what we’ve been doing,” Davis said.”The past couple games, we’ve been rebounding, defending, sharing the ball. We don’t care who scores. That’s what we have to do.
It wasn’t a total disaster for the Hawks however, as the loss represented only their third loss in thirty-six-games. All-Star Jeff Teague poured in 21 , Paul Millsap had 15 and Kyle Korver got 12 on a poor shooting night from outside for Eastern Conference leaders, as they made only seven of twenty-two attempts from the behind the arc. The Hawks battled hard throughout the game but failed to make any significant chips into the lead.
The Hawks players didn’t take the end of their win streak too hard though, and Paul Millsap seemed positive despite the loss and when asked to put the win streak into perspective the former Louisiana Tech big man stated:
‘We’ve got a lot of season left, Nineteen games, that’s good. We lost one — 19-1 now. So it’s just regrouping. … We can’t let one loss turn into two losses.’
It’s that type of mentality that has led the Hawks to the top of the power-rankings but the night belonged to New Orleans, who are, after Monday’s victory only one game behind Phoenix for the 8th seed in the western playoffs and with a powerhouse like Davis leading them they look like a team who can contend with anyone on their day.
Ciaran Darcy, Pundit Arena.