All good things must eventually come to an end. Atlanta's remarkable 19-game winning streak came to a halt Monday night with a 115-100 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Hawks appeared to be a step slow from the outset and quickly fell into an early hole thanks to some hot shooting by the Pelicans. New Orleans knocked down 12-23 attempts in the first quarter including 4-5 shooting from three-point range and led 32-22 at the end of the quarter.
It was more of the same in the second for the Hawks as they continued to sputter offensively while having difficulty cooling off New Orleans from the outside. The Pelicans moved the ball crisply and knocked down some tough shots from the perimeter to keep the Hawks at arms length.
New Orleans got a big spark from Anthony Davis who returned to action after missing time due to a groin injury. Davis looked well rested and scored 19 of his game-high 29 points in the first half.
Atlanta would make a charge at the start of the third quarter and quickly cut New Orleans 13 point halftime lead down to just seven with 9:47 remaining to force a time out by Monty Williams. The Pelicans answered with four straight points to push the lead back to double digits.
Atlanta made 11-18 field goal attempts in the third quarter but were outscored 33-32 in the period. New Orleans shot 54 percent for the period and took advantage of seven offensive rebounds.
The Hawks wouldn't threaten again and New Orleans pushed the lead to 19 points in the fourth before Mike Budenholzer pulled his starters.
New Orleans shot 50 percent from the field for the game and out rebounded Atlanta by a 52-32 margin. Eric Gordon turned in a nice effort with 20 points on 7-11 shooting. Tyreke Evans started at point guard and finished with 15 points, 12 assists and zero turnovers.
Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 21 points and seven assists. Paul Millsap added 15 points and six rebounds but was just 5-14 from the field. DeMarre Carroll returned from a two-game absence due to an Achilles injury and finished with six points and two rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.
Atlanta will return to action on Wednesday when they host the Washington Wizards at Philips Arena.