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Sunday April 11th, 2021 2:31PM

Trae Young leads hot-shooting Hawks past Pelicans, 123-107

By The Associated Press
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ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young scored 30 points and helped lead a third-quarter 3-point barrage as the surging Atlanta Hawks beat Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans 123-107 on Tuesday night.

The Hawks sank each of their 11 3-point attempts in the third.

“We were just having fun,” Young said.

The streak included four from Bogdan Bogdanovic, who had 21 points as he continues to emerge as a high-scoring complement to Young. Atlanta made 20 of 31 3s overall.

“It’s great to have him back and great to have him back in a groove, too,” Young said of Bogdanovic. “Everybody has been kind of feeding off him knocking down shots.”

Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan said his offense flourished when Bogdanovic and other players stopped passing up open shots.

“A few of our guys looked a little hesitant in the first half,” McMillan said.

“I think it was pretty obvious in the third quarter we got open looks. Those shots are shots we practice every day.”

Young also had 12 assists. He made three 3s in the third as the Hawks surged to a 107-90 lead following a 61-all halftime tie.

“It became a shootout and we couldn’t match them in that quarter in a shootout,” Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy said. “I thought we got in their style of basketball in that quarter and not ours.”

Kevin Huerter had 17 points for Atlanta, which has won four consecutive games to improve to 13-4 under McMillan.

Williamson led the Pelicans with 34 points. Lonzo Ball had 12 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.

After missing three games with a strained right thumb, Williamson returned with a light wrap and showed no sign of being slowed by the injury.

Isaiah Thomas, who signed a 10-day contract on Saturday, had eight points in his debut with New Orleans following one practice with the team. It was his first NBA game since Feb. 3, 2020, with Washington. He averaged 12.2 points in 40 games, including 37 starts, with the Wizards before having right hip surgery in May.

Thomas, 32, was needed to rescue the Pelicans' decimated backcourt. Josh Hart had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and his status will be updated in three weeks.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker was held out after leaving Sunday night's win over Houston with a left high ankle sprain, and Kira Lewis Jr. did not play due to a strained right calf.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: F Brandon Ingram (right toe) missed his third consecutive game. ... After being held to a season-low 34 rebounds in their 126-103 home loss to the Hawks on Friday night while playing without Williamson, New Orleans had 30 rebounds in just the first half and outrebounded Atlanta 48-42 for the game.

Hawks: Atlanta has won seven consecutive home games, its longest streak since 12 in a rom from Dec. 30, 2014 to Feb. , 2015. ... Clint Capela had 12 points and 12 rebounds in his 33rd double-double of the season.

THOMAS RETURNS

Thomas sank two 3-pointers and added a short jumper for all of his points in a second-period flurry. He played 25 minutes and made 4 of 13 shots from the field.

“I thought he played fine, certainly as well as you could expect for somebody who hasn’t played in a year,” Van Gundy said.

INJURY UPDATE

McMillan said before the game “we hope to get healthy here soon.” Just not real soon. McMillan said F De’Andre Hunter will miss “the next few games” following a nonsurgical procedure Monday on his right knee to address lingering soreness. McMillan said Hunter is on pace to return before F John Collins, who missed his fourth consecutive game with a left ankle sprain.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Visit Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

Hawks: Host Memphis on Wednesday night.

___

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