When Atlanta and New Orleans met last week, it was the Hawks continuing an impressive winning streak while furthering the Pelicans' season-opening skid.
Both have ended now, and it's the Pelicans trying to string together wins Wednesday night in Atlanta, though they might need to do so with a banged-up Anthony Davis.
The Hawks (7-2) had their seven-game winning streak snapped in Monday's 117-107 home loss to Minnesota. It was anything but a traditional loss with Minnesota leading 72-42 at halftime before Atlanta took its first lead 107-106 with a Paul Millsap runner with 3:26 remaining. Andrew Wiggins took over from there, but Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer left with some positives.
"I think to fight back from that kind of deficit shows the resiliency and character of the group," Budenholzer said. "(There were) a lot of positives from how that group fought."
Jeff Teague finished with 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting after going 9 for 32 in his previous two games, while Millsap finished with 22 points and has scored at least 21 in his last three while making 55.0 percent after failing to reach 20 and shooting 43.7 in his first six.
The Hawks shot 51.2 percent and have hit 50.2 percent in their last three games while averaging 114.0 points, but they've allowed a 52.1 percent clip and 110.3 points in that time after opening with 40.8 and 95.3 marks through six games.
Atlanta now shifts its attention from Wiggins back to another young star that lit it up last week. The Hawks won 121-115 in New Orleans on Friday and are seeking a sweep in the series after splitting last season's, but Davis had 43 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth straight double-double in the series while averaging 29.4 points and 11.0 rebounds.
New Orleans (1-6) ended its losing streak with Tuesday's 120-105 home win over Dallas. After opening the season shooting 40.9 percent through four games, the team is connecting on 48.5 in three dating to the loss to the Hawks. The problem is their 111.0 scoring average has been equaled exactly with opponents hitting 48.2 percent. Still, the defensive scoring average is an improvement considering the Pelicans are at the bottom of the league with a 113.3 mark.
They didn't need much out of Davis, who had 17 points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes before leaving with a bruised hip.
Coach Alvin Gentry wasn't sure the extent or the specifics, adding that Davis was having more tests done before the Pelicans flew to Atlanta. Initial X-rays at the arena were negative.
"You can do one of two things: You can just move on and try to play and do the best you can, or you can sit around and mope and have a pity party," said Gentry, who at least got center Omer Asik back from missing five of the first six games. "We don't have time for a pity party."
The bench came through with 71 points on 27 of 49 from the field and 7 of 14 from 3-point range.
Ryan Anderson had 25 points with 11 rebounds off the bench and is averaging 23.0 points on 58.1 percent shooting with 10.0 rebounds in the last two games.
"We've got a long year," Anderson said. "This is a small stretch of games. Obviously now that we have a win, we want to kind of move on past (it) and have a winning mentality now. We know what we need to do."