The New Orleans Pelicans played their second Summer League game on Monday evening, facing the Atlanta Hawks in Las Vegas.
Ball movement was critical in this fast-paced encounter, a welcome change from the Pels’ first Summer League game, when the half court offense was often stagnant and the Pelicans tallied just 10 assists as a team.
New Orleans best moment of the first quarter was a nice transition bucket after Chaundee Brown Jr. drove toward the basket and was rejected by Tyrique Jones with a two-handed block, the ball was quickly passed ahead to Naji Marshall who converted the fast break into two points.
Beautiful ball movement set up a slam for Zach Hankins with one minute left in the quarter, a nice pass into the corner from Dereon Seabron allowed John Petty Jr. to drive inside and dish it to Hankins who threw it down with authority. Quick ball movement in the first quarter propelled New Orleans into a 27-20 lead after 10 minutes of play.
The 2nd quarter was a worrying one for the Pels on the injury front with rookie EJ Liddell out of Ohio State going over on his right ankle after a drive to the basket, going down with an apparent knee injury, though thankfully he was able to continue.
After losing Rookie Dyson Daniels to an ankle injury in game one, it was good to see Liddell come back, but the night wasn’t over.
On the offensive side of things, it was much of the same from the Pelicans, quick ball movement led to good looks and some good finishes. In particular, a monster jam from Daeqwon Plowden off a miss from Jared Harper and the first three-point shot of the game scored by Trey Murphy III off the assist from Harper with the clock winding down. The Pelicans again outscored the Hawks to lead 53-37 at the half.
New Orleans Pelicans Summer League: Trey Murphy III takes over
The Hawks tried to battle back in the 3rd, and after just 28 seconds Atlanta had their first 3-ball of the game, by Brown Jr. The quarter was filled with misses, as there were only 34 points between both teams, in contrast, this is the same amount that the Pelicans hit in the 4th quarter alone.
With 6: 52 remaining in the 3rd, Liddell went down injured again, the rookie seemed to trap his leg under himself off an inbound, which forced Liddell to leave the game with the assistance of two teammates. Liddell exited the game with six points and four rebounds after 12 minutes on the court. The Hawks outscored the Pelicans in the 3rd 20-14 cutting the lead to just 10 after 30 minutes, 67-57.
The 4th quarter really was the Trey Murphy III show. The 6-foot-8 wing had 10 points in the quarter including two deep threes late on. He also had an assist and and rebound in the final ten. It started to rain threes with the Pelicans hitting five to close out the game.
Away from Murphy’s hot streak, there was a lovely alley-oop from Marshall to Jones to extend the lead to 17 with 3:40 left. Trey Murphy III ended the game with 30 points, six rebounds, an assist, block and steal as he proved to be the catalyst for a New Orleans bounce-back win after losing to Portland on Saturday.
The New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Hawks on a final scorel of 101-73. The Pelicans’ next game is on Wednesday against the Washington Wizards.