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Hawks hold off Pelicans for first Summer League victory, 84-82

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This went well.

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

After an opening loss on Friday, the Atlanta Hawks saw their premium players perform quite well on Sunday afternoon against the New Orleans Pelicans. That, combined with strong support elsewhere, was enough to give the team its first Las Vegas victory by a final score of 84-82.

The first half was a productive one from the top-tier players on Atlanta’s side. Both Taurean Prince (11 points) and DeAndre’ Bembry (10 points) cracked double figures before the break and John Collins added eight points and six rebounds. Beyond that, newly acquired center Diamond Stone produced well in his first action, contributing six points and three rebounds in bench action.

Oh, and there were some highlights. First, Bembry threw down a monster jam in the opening quarter.

Later, the trio of Atlanta’s top player connected on a beautiful alley-oop that ended in John Collins’ hands.

After halftime, a hilarious circumstance occurred. Ryan Kelly, who was traded by the Hawks at the end of June, cleared waivers at 5:00 pm ET (per Chris Vivlamore of the AJC) and started the second half. Only in Summer League, right?

At any rate, there were plenty of highlights in the third quarter, including a sequence in which both DeAndre’ Bembry and John Collins completed spectacular dunks within one minute.

The Hawks led for the majority of the second half after a riveting third quarter performance that was legitimately entertaining. Still, the game was tied with less than two minutes remaining after a New Orleans comeback and it was yet another nail-biter in the way that Friday’s opener ended. This time, though, the Hawks were able to prevail for their first victory.

At the end of the day, it was a stellar performance from Atlanta’s “big three” in Las Vegas. John Collins made 9 of his 11 field goal attempts, including several mid-range jumpers, to finish with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Taurean Prince (17 points) and DeAndre’ Bembry (16 points, seven rebounds, six assists) also played well and Diamond Stone (11 points, five rebounds) showed some of his appealing skill.

The Hawks will be in action on Monday against the Chicago Bulls at 4:00 pm ET. Stay tuned.