Big 3rd quarter by Hawks too much for Pelicans to overcome despite Zion’s return

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For three quarters at Atlanta Tuesday night, the New Orleans Pelicans were quite competitive.

Unfortunately, the game consists of four quarters.

The Pelicans forgot to show up in the third quarter and forgot to guard anyone as the Hawks exploded for a ridiculous 46 points in the quarter, outscoring New Orleans 46-29 in the frame on the way to a 123-107 win.

In fairness to the Pelicans, part of the crazy third quarter outburst by Atlanta is all about giving the Hawks credit.

Atlanta sank all 11 shots from 3-point range in the quarter, a simply amazing feat. Of course, many were good, open looks. The resurgent Hawks have now won seven straight home games.

It was surely great to see Zion Williamson back on the floor and he did not disappoint.

Williamson picked up where he left off before being sidelined with an injury, scoring 34 points on 12-of-18 shooting with five rebounds.

The problem is that the rest of the Pelicans squad combined to shoot just 25-of-73 (34%) from the field and no one else helped with the heavy lifting.

After Williamson, the next top scorer was Eric Bledsoe and he had just 14 points.

After coming up huge in his previous game in his return from injury, Lonzo Ball was not effective, making just 4-of-14 shots from 3-point range, 4-of-15 from the field for just 12 points, though he did have 11 assists. Jaxson Hayes was solid off the bench with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Perhaps the story for New Orleans was the debut of veteran guard Isaiah Thomas, who had 10 points in 25 minutes. Of course, Thomas was just 4-of-13 from the field and had four turnovers.

The Hawks shot 50 percent from the field and also had a big second quarter with 36 points.

While Williamson returned and Thomas debuted, the Pelicans got more bad news as Josh Hart had thumb surgery and, as expected, he will be out long-term.

Meanwhile, Nickeil Alexander-Walker was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and will miss at least a couple of weeks, probably more.

A once promising season has gotten derailed by a slew of injuries.

Now, the goal has to be to somehow find your way to the tenth and final -play in spot.

With Kira Lewis out again, without Hart and without Alexander-Walker and star Brandon Ingram, who did not play again, it will be a very difficult task.

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Ken Trahan

Ken Trahan

CEO/Owner

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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