NBA Summer League Game 2: Hawks 84, Pelicans 82

Hawks (1-1), Pelicans (0-2)

LAS VEGAS – A second straight tight contest in the desert for New Orleans produced the same result, with the Pelicans being outscored in the final minute en route to a defeat. Atlanta took the lead on Ryan Kelly free throws with 22 seconds left at 84-82, followed by Isaiah Cousins of New Orleans misfiring on a three-pointer from the left corner.


Atlanta’s DeAndre’ Bembry missed two free throws with 4.9 seconds left, but New Orleans committed a turnover trying to advance the ball after rebounding the second misfire.


New Orleans took a 50-41 lead at one stage of the third quarter, but Atlanta responded with a big surge, grabbing a 65-64 edge by the end of the period, on the strength of a 24-14 extended spurt. The Hawks quickly erased their deficit by sinking threes and scoring in transition.


Quinn Cook continued to demonstrate his shot-making ability, dropping in jumpers even when fairly well defended. Cook’s offense (25 points) was a constant throughout Sunday’s game, preventing Atlanta from taking over early after the Hawks built a nine-point edge. The Duke point guard tallied at least four points in every period and was 12/18 from the field. Cook tallied eight of his team’s 18 fourth-period points. He also delivered five rebounds, five assists and two steals.


Cheick Diallo (23 points, 10 rebounds, his second straight double-double, also had three blocks) rapidly piled up three fouls in the first few minutes of the game, but there was no reason to be concerned. In summer league, players are allotted 10 fouls before being disqualified, instead of the usual six, even though games are eight minutes shorter than a normal 48-minute NBA game. Diallo eventually settled down and wound up with “only” five fouls in his 34 minutes of action, leaving five fouls on the table.


“Same result, still a loss by two. I thought we had a letdown in the third quarter and got (Atlanta) back in the game and got their confidence. In the fourth… we had some great looks, and that’s all you can ask for.” – Cook on the Pelicans dropping a second tight game, in similar fashion

“Kind of a little bit, because I watched him a lot. I liked the way he played and he’s my role model.” – Diallo on his “finger wag” gesture after a highlight-reel block of Atlanta’s Taurean Prince being a tribute to Dikembe Mutombo

“They’ve been here before, they’re a part of us. They’re doing a good job. They’re trying to carry this team and put guys in position to be successful, help guys out.” – Pelicans summer head coach Jamelle McMillan on the duo of Cook and Diallo shouldering a big load in the first two games

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