ATLANTA (AP) — Kevin Huerter scored 17 of his 27 points in the second quarter, taking the scoring load from cold-shooting fellow rookie Trae Young, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the New Orleans Pelicans 128-116 on Sunday.
John Collins had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Collins blocked four shots.
Frank Jackson and Julius Randle each scored 23 points for the Pelicans, who have lost three straight. Elfrid Payton had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Young, who had the first triple-double by a rookie in Hawks history in Saturday’s loss to Brooklyn, missed his first nine shots from the field before finally scoring on a follow shot early in the fourth period. Young had 10 points and 10 assists while shooting only 2 of 14.
Huerter’s hot streak, all in the final six minutes of the half, started immediately after guard Dairis Bertans made his debut for New Orleans. Huerter sank a 3-pointer over Bertans, followed by a three-point play when fouled by Bertans, to spark the scoring outburst.
Huerter scored 17 of Atlanta’s final 22 points of the half after having only two points in the first period.
Even with Bertans back on the bench to start the second half, Huerter was still hot. He scored on a creative underhand layup and a long 3-pointer early in the half.
New Orleans led 66-65 at halftime. Atlanta took the lead with a 12-0 run late in the third period. The Hawks led 94-86 entering the final period and stretched the advantage to 101-90.
Anthony Davis had 15 points and eight rebounds in about 21 minutes after missing Friday night’s loss to Toronto with back spasms.
Pelicans: Bertrans, signed out of the EuroLeague on March 2, had one assist in his debut. Coach Alvin Gentry said he wanted to “try to get him acclimated to the speed of the game and playing with some of his teammates.” Bertrans is the older brother of Spurs forward Davis Bertrans. .... C Jahlil Okafor, who was listed as questionable with a right ankle sprain, had four points in about eight minutes. ... Gentry said G Jrue Holiday (lower abdomen strain) and G E’Twaun Moore (left quadriceps contusion) will miss “another eight or nine days.”
Hawks: Coach Lloyd Pierce said C Miles Plumlee (left knee pain), who has not played since Dec. 5, has “a target date potentially for this week” to make his return. ... C Dewayne Dedmon (right knee contusion) had eight points while limited to 20 minutes off the bench.
Pelicans: Host Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
Hawks: Host Memphis on Wednesday night.
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