With a chance to win the game, Kent Bazemore wasn’t the first option for the Atlanta Hawks.
He wound up with the ball — and it worked out just fine.
Bazemore swished a jumper over Anthony Davis with 2.1 seconds remaining and the Hawks rallied from 19 points down to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 94-93 Wednesday, thrilling a sparse crowd on an icy night in Atlanta.
The Hawks wanted to go to Ersan Ilyasova in the corner, but the Pelicans thwarted that play. So Dennis Schroder passed instead to the 6-foot-5 Bazemore, who feigned a drive before pulling up from 18 feet to hit the shot against the 6-10 Davis.
“That’s one of my favorite moves,” Bazemore said. “It’s almost like you’re out there by yourself. You can’t worry that the guy defending you has like a 7-10 wing span. You’ve got to rise up and make the shot.”
It was a tough night for Davis, who was held to just eight points on 2-of-8 shooting — one night after scoring 45 points in a big win at Boston.
“We did it by committee,” Bazemore said. “We showed him a crowd all night. We made it tough.”
Tied at 92, DeMarcus Cousins drew a blocking foul on rookie John Collins with 13.7 seconds remaining, earning a trip to the foul line. Cousins made only one, giving the Hawks a chance to pull out the victory.
New Orleans had one last chance, inbounding the ball to Cousins near the hoop. He came up short on a quick shot, pleading with the officials for a foul call while the Hawks celebrated.
“The ball movement that we had in the first half wasn’t there,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “We didn’t have enough plays at the end to finish the game.”
Bazemore led the Hawks with 20 points, Collins added 18 and Schroeder had a double-double — 13 points and 15 assists.
Jrue Holiday paced the Pelicans with 22 points, while Cousins had 19 points and 14 rebounds.
Coming off a victory over San Antonio, the Hawks won back-to-back games for only the second time this season and snapped the Pelicans’ three-game winning streak.
Atlanta missed seven straight shots during two different stretches in the first quarter and endured another long drought at the beginning of the second, going nearly 5 minutes without a field goal. New Orleans ripped off 12 straight points to erase an early deficit and led three times by 19 before settling for a 60-45 lead at the break.
But the Pelicans made only 3 of 18 shots in a 10-point third period, allowing the Hawks to grab a 71-70 lead heading to the fourth.
Source: USA Today
Despite not having what you call “superstars” in a league that focuses on them, Atlanta is going great. The record doesn’t show it, but the Hawks is one of the scrappiest teams in the league. Dennis Schroder won’t be getting an all-star nod, but he’s having a great season. I’m looking forward to see how the Atlanta Hawks season ends up and where they’ll pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. I’ll be heading out to the Hawks game on March 2nd when they host the Golden State Warriors.