Murray, Young lead Hawks past Pelicans 124-121 in OT
ATLANTA (AP) — Dejounte Murray had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, Trae Young added 34 points and 10 assists, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the New Orleans Pelicans 124-121 in overtime on Saturday night.
Clint Capela added 21 points and 19 rebounds for Atlanta, which improved to 6-3 with its second straight win.
“I just try to come with the same mentality every night,” Capela said. “Go after every shot, be a presence defensively, set the screen and roll, try to finish hard at rim. It happened tonight and we got the win with it. So that’s the most important thing.”
The Pelicans dropped to 5-4 and already have three overtime losses in the first three weeks of the season.
CJ McCollum finished with 29 points, Zion Williamson scored a season-high 29 and Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and 17 rebounds for the Pelicans, who were on the second night of a back-to-back.
Young, wearing protective goggles to protect a left eye contusion he sustained in a win at New York three nights earlier, went 9 for 26 from the field and was a big part of an up-tempo attack that outscored New Orleans 22-14 on fast-break points. Capela took an alley-oop feed from Young for a dunk that put Atlanta up 117-111 with 2:11 to go in overtime.
“It’s big for us in the long run because you’re going to learn over the course of a long season it’s not going to be easy, especially with the new guys we’ve got and the pieces we’ve added,” Young said. “Any time you can learn on a win, it’s an amazing feeling to have.”
New Orleans pulled within one on Herb Jones’ three-point play with 2:51 to go in regulation, tied it on McCollum’s left corner 3 and took the lead on Williamson’s dunk at the 1:47 mark. A turnaround jumper by Williamson in the lane gave the Pelicans a 109-107 lead, but Murray made a 14-footer to force a 109-all tie with 4 seconds to go. Brandon Ingram’s 10-foot jumper bounced off the rim as time expired in regulation.
“Our mindset was that we were going to go out with a fight and go for the win,” Williamson said. “So if you look at it, all the plays we made in the minute and a half span were all tough plays, gutsy plays. I think it just shows our tenacity in just steadily fighting and competing.”
The Hawks went up by 10 on Young’s pair of free throws with 4:05 left in the third, but the Pelicans refused to go away, pulling within five on Larry Nance Jr.’s layup two minutes later. A straightaway 3 by McCollum made it a two-point game in the final minute of the third.
Atlanta was up 88-85 entering the fourth.
McCollum hit his first five shots from the field and had 15 points in the first half.
The Hawks led 60-52 at halftime.
“There’s things we can clean up,” New Orleans coach Willie Green said. “Our execution has to be better, and that starts with me. I have to be better with getting our guys in the right spots.”
Pelicans: The NBA’s No. 2 scoring team at 117.5 points per game before the start of the game, New Orleans led for just 2:02 of regulation. … The Pelicans’ bench was outscored 25-15.
Hawks: Capela had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. … Atlanta shot 55.3% in the first two quarters. … John Collins finished with seven points and was scoreless in the first half on 0-for-2 shooting. … The Hawks led in blocked shots 8-6.
Pelicans: At Indiana on Monday.
Hawks: Host Milwaukee on Monday.
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