Move over, Ray Allen.
Move over, Steph Curry.
Hawkins matched Pelicans star Brandon Ingram with a team-high 25 points on Tuesday as New Orleans defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 132-110. The former Husky hit another five three-pointers, giving him 32 so far on the season, which is the most by any player in NBA history through the first 11 games of his career, according to NBA writer Brett Usher.
Hawkins knocked down 8 of 17 shots and was 5 of 12 from 3-point range in the win, which was part of the NBA In-Season Tournament. He had 19 points in the first half, knocking down three 3s in the opening 24 minutes.
The Pelicans are thrilled that their 21-year-old first-round pick, taken 14th overall in the 2023 draft, isn’t shy about letting it fly from deep. Hawkins knows that’s why he’s in the game.
“I don’t care about missing a shot. I know the next one is going in,” Hawkins told reporters after the game. “I know I’m supposed to be here. I know what I’ve done to get to this point, all the hard work I put in.”
“We want our guys to play with confidence, and Jordan’s one of those guys. You don’t have to tell him to shoot,” Pelicans assistant coach James Borrego said. “We love what he does for us. We love his confidence. That’s why we drafted him. We believe in him.”
UConn head coach Dan Hurley reacted like a lot of Huskies fans when he heard Hawkins had 19 points at halftime during his postgame press conference following the Huskies’ win over Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday.
“Let’s go, Hawk!” Hurley exclaimed, before making a wing motion with his hands and drawing laughs from the rest of the room.
Hurley said he spoke with Hawkins after an early-season game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, in which Hawkins struggled (2-for-13 from 3-point range) but kept on firing.
“I had a good talk with him after that OKC game on the road, I called him the next day,” Hurley said. “I think you can just tell right away he looks like he belongs out there and fits the modern game to a T. Just so proud of him. … Plus we need these guys to get to the NBA and perform the way he’s performed, and Andre (Jackson) getting on the court (Monday) night and getting minutes. It’s good to be getting these UConn guys back in the NBA, on the court and playing well.”
Hawkins is averaging 13.7 points per game so far this season, which ranks third among NBA rookies, behind Victor Wembanyama (18.6 ppg) and Chet Holmgren (15.7). He’s averaging 11 field goal attempts per game and eight threes, shooting 37 percent from the field and 36 from deep.
The Pelicans, who are now 1-1 in group play in the In-Season Tournament, will face the Denver Nuggets in another tournament game on Friday.