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Hawks-Pelicans Preview

AP - Sports

The Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Pelicans each were enjoying solid stretches until running into a pair of the NBA's best teams.

Both clubs will look to get back on track after disappointing losses as New Orleans hosts Atlanta on Wednesday night.

Atlanta (25-22) entered its contest with league-leading Indiana on Tuesday having won three of four, but no starter scored in double figures in an 89-85 defeat. Paul Millsap, who scored at least 20 points in seven of his previous 10 contests, finished with seven and went 2 of 11 from the field.

Mike Scott netted a team-high 15 points and Elton Brand scored 12. Kyle Korver's only 3-pointer extended his NBA-record streak to 116 games with a 3.

''Offensively, it just wasn't one of our better nights,'' coach Mike Budenholzer said. ''I think you have to give Indiana and their defense credit for that.''

The Hawks averaged 116.5 points and shot 49.6 percent over their previous four, but they connected on only 43.4 percent from the field and 7 of 25 from 3-point range Tuesday.

DeMarre Carroll came in averaging 15.7 points and shooting 53.3 percent from long distance over his previous seven, but he missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc and finished with eight points.

''That's why they're the best team in the league defensively," Scott said. "We just missed open shots and couldn't get it in.''

New Orleans (20-27) had won four of five but had a rough second half in Monday's 102-95 loss to San Antonio. Anthony Davis finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds for his 21st double-double, but he missed 15 of 21 from the field.

The Pelicans led by 14 near the end of the third quarter, but they committed 16 turnovers that led to 18 Spurs points. Davis had five of them.

''We had some costly turnovers,'' coach Monty Williams said. ''A number of our guys, you look at our numbers, we just did not shoot the ball well across the board - in the fourth quarter for sure.''

Injuries have been an issue for New Orleans as well. Jrue Holiday missed his 13th straight game with a stress fracture in his right tibia, and Tyreke Evans played only five minutes before leaving with a rib injury.

With Evans' status uncertain, the Pelicans signed swingman Luke Babbitt to eat up minutes. Babbitt, the 16th pick in the 2010 draft by Portland, was playing overseas. He played 62 games with the Trail Blazers last season.

Babbitt will be available to play against Atlanta.

"We definitely can use him to make a lot of shots and spread the floor," guard Anthony Morrow told the team's official website. "Everybody's got to make him comfortable and let him know that what he does well, we really needed. He has a lot of freedom to shoot the ball when he's open."

Davis scored eight points and shot 4 of 11 in the last meeting with Atlanta on Feb. 8, but Eric Gordon scored a game-high 27 points in New Orleans' 111-100 victory.

Jeff Teague scored 21 points for the Hawks in that contest.

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