Hawks sent the Hornets packing and CJ McCollum scores 32 to secure a W for the Pelicans
Wednesday's NBA play in format featured some great point guards going head to head as well as a tight game in the night cap game. Let's us take it to the early match-up between the Atlanta Hawks and the surging Charlotte Hornets. Atlanta started the game a bit sloppy. Forced shots and turning the ball over stunted their offense a bit. At the eight minute minute mark in the first quarter,the Hawks went on a 10-4 run to take the lead and forced the Hornets to speed up their offense.
Despite Young not having much of an impact in the quarter with only four points, Clint Capela and Kevin Huerter put their team on their backs and combined for 17 points. The Hawks built up a 32-23 lead at the end of the first. After ending the first quarter, shooting around 55% from the field, things went south real quick for the Hawks. Atlanta had trouble getting the ball to go in the basket They went away from getting the ball to Capela and started to shoot ill-advised three point shots. After a quick timeout at the seven minute mark of the second, the Hawks decided to go back to their bread and butter. They swung the ball outside in and took advantage of the mismatch that Capela had. After extending their lead to 13, the Hawks saw their lead evaporate in the last minute of the quarter.Going into the half, the Hawks were clinging onto a 60-52 lead.
The Hawks continued to feed the beast in the paint in the second half. Capela was killing those little dudes trying to guard him on the block and in the paint. Atlanta had their biggest lead of the game at 16 midway in the third. The Hawks caught fire the rest of the quarter and pushed their lead to 26 at the end of the quarter. Atlanta continued to keep their foot on the pedal in the fourth and went onto win big, 132-103. They will face the Cavs on Friday for a winner take all match for the eighth seed. Young finished the game with 24 points.
In the night cap game between the Pelicans and Spurs, Brandon Ingram knew he had to set the tone early on and that he did. After being down four early on, BI took over. He got the crowd out of their seats as he put Zach Collins on a poster. After the dunk, New Orleans went on 7-0 run and had the Spurs on their heels. After an entertaining quarter, the Pelicans had a 26-22 lead at the end of the first. CJ McCollum started to put his stamp on the game in the second. From hitting easy lay-ups and tough shots, McCollum extend the Pelicans' lead to double figures Outside of CJ,the Pelicans got a jump start from Jose Alvarado. Alvarado put the clamps on the players he was guarding, got a few steals, and finished the half with 10 points. New Orleans walked into half with a 61-50 lead.
The Pelicans poured it on in the second half. Everything was clicking and the Pelicans was feeding off the crowd and their bench.Their second unit was crashing boards and making it hard for the Spurs to get in sync on the defensive end. New Orleans had everything going until San Antonio went on a 14-6 run to cut NO's lead to single digits. NO put the game away on a 12-6 run to defeat the Spurs, 113-103.
The Pelicans will face the Clippers in a winner take all game.