Williamson and McCollum each score 29 points, but the Pelicans suffer another OT loss, dropping 124-121 to the Hawks

The New Orleans Pelicans lost 124-121 to the Atlanta Hawks in the first overtime, going 0-3 in overtime this season.

They have four losses in total.

It must be assumed that overtime should be avoided at all costs in the future.

With 4:52 remaining in regulation, playing extra basketball was on no one’s mind. The Pelicans led 103-90 and looked destined to go away in defeat well before the final buzzer.

However, New Orleans led a shocking 19-4 run to take the lead, buoyed by a constant grind that didn’t show through the first 43 minutes.

Zion Williamson and Herb Jones carried the score, Brandon Ingram provided the play, and everyone on the court put in great effort, which allowed Trae Young to go 0-5 downfield during that streak.

If it hadn’t been for Dejounte Murray pull-up jumper about 17 feet with 4.8 seconds left, the Pelicans likely would have left Atlanta victorious.

Still armed with a chance to win in regulation, Ingram missed a tough 10-foot drop.

Similar to last Sunday’s loss to the Lakers, the Pelicans weren’t able to get good traction for much of overtime, but surprisingly they had a chance to tie the score despite a six points behind with 12.5 seconds remaining.

After Jones converted an And-1 on a putback, “Not on Herb” got hold of an inbound pass from Atlanta on a timeout, deflecting the ball away from Young and toward a teammate. As Ingram was about to get up for a pull-up 3 in transition, the ball was ripped out of his hands and out of bounds.

The ball went into Devonte’ Graham. In real time, it first appeared that he had shot a foul on a 3-point attempt. However, Scott Foster appeared to quickly call off that ground call, instead giving the Hawks possession because he saw Graham’s foot go out of bounds at one point.

If the moment seems confusing, it was. The game was not reviewed by officials and then the Bally Sports New Orleans broadcast did not show a wide replay angle to provide clear evidence one way or another. Not a satisfying feeling for fans, to say the least.

CJ McCollum and Zion Williamson each scored a season-high 29 points.

The Pelicans point guard got hot early and his sweater remained lethal throughout. He knocked down four 3-pointers, grabbing 10 rebounds to start.

Williamson, on the other hand, did his best job in the second half. However, he was forced out of the game at 1:12 of overtime due to cramps.

In addition to his 29 points, Zion had eight rebounds, four assists but seven turnovers.

Brandon Ingram, in an off-shooting performance, finished with 16 points, five rebounds and seven assists.

Conversely, Herb Jones finished with his best line of the season: 19 points, nine rebounds and three steals.

Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and 17 rebounds in 26 minutes of action.

The bench of New Orleans was dominated by that of Atlanta, outclassed 25-15.

Although this game took place on the wire, the outcome could have been different for a number of reasons.

For the vast majority of the action, the Pelicans had no rhythm. There were times when the help defense was absolutely nowhere to be found. And New Orleans lost quick break points (22-14) and stray point points (23-16) decisively.

It didn’t help matters that Atlanta was also significantly better from the free throw line.

The haze the Pelicans seemed to be playing in for much of the game could be negated by the difficulty of the schedule. After a three-game road trip out West, the Pelicans briefly returned home, hosting the Warriors last night. They didn’t arrive in Atlanta until after 2 a.m. this morning.

So it wasn’t exactly ideal circumstances for New Orleans’ second straight night.

But we are not here to find excuses. To become one of the best teams in the league, you have to fight against all kinds of adversities.

While the Pelicans certainly never gave up in any game, a little more fighting, a slightly stronger focus, or maybe the coaching staff hitting different buttons in some cases could have this team noticeably higher at the ranking.

One thing is certain, the New Orleans Pelicans need to start winning some of these close games if they want to secure a spot in the playoffs without having to go through the playoffs again.

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast stream on itunes, Spotify, embroiderer Where Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.

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