NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis and Brian Roberts proved a pair of second-year players can carry the young Pelicans to a victory over a veteran team with playoff aspirations.
Davis had 27 points and 10 rebounds, Roberts scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half, and New Orleans beat the Atlanta Hawks 105-100 on Wednesday night.
"I'm always telling our guys, 'Everybody has written you guys off, so what do you have to lose? Just go out there and play. I've got your back either way,'" Pelicans coach Monty Williams said.
Paul Millsap had 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks, who have lost two in a row. DeMarre Carroll added 22 points.
"Roberts made some big shots," said Hawks guard Jeff Teague, who had 11 points and 13 assists. "We just got stagnant on defense. Our intensity on defense just wasn't there. We didn't play with attention to detail in the last couple of plays."
Davis and Roberts made Atlanta pay, each scoring six points in the final 3:40.
Davis has been stellar all season, and his performance against Atlanta marked the 16th time he's had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game.
Roberts only recently moved into a starting role at point guard because of Jrue Holiday's stress fracture in his right shin.
Roberts made only one of five shots in the first half before turning in one of the best second halves of his young career.
"He's growing up and he understands when to make plays," Davis said.
Roberts did have one glaring error when he had a turnover that led to a score during a late 7-0 Atlanta run that trimmed the Hawks' 10-point deficit to three with a little less than a minute left. Roberts made up for it with a running, off-balance floater on New Orleans' next possession to make it 100-95 with 20 seconds to go.
"That was a tough turnover right there," Roberts said. "I just try to move on and focus on the next play. ... I was going to get it back and I was able to make that floater and finish them off."