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NBA: Isaiah Thomas makes comeback; New Orleans Pelicans lose to Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young scored 30 points and helped lead a third-quarter 3-point barrage as the surging Atlanta Hawks beat Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans 123-107 on Tuesday night.

The Hawks sank each of their 11 3-point attempts in the third, including four from Bogdan Bogdanovic, who had 21 points. Atlanta made 20 of 31 3s overall.

Young also had 12 assists. He made three 3s in the third as the Hawks surged to a 107-90 lead following a 61-all halftime tie.

Kevin Huerter had 17 points for Atlanta, which has won four consecutive games to improve to 13-4 under interim coach Nate McMillan. The Hawks (27-24) began the night tied with Miami for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Williamson led the Pelicans with 34 points. Lonzo Ball had 12 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.

After missing three games with a strained right thumb, Williamson returned with a light wrap and showed no sign of being slowed by the injury.

Isaiah Thomas, who signed a 10-day contract on Saturday, had eight points in his debut with New Orleans following one practice with the team. It was his first NBA game since Feb. 3, 2020, with Washington. He averaged 12.2 points in 40 games, including 37 starts, with the Wizards before having right hip surgery in May.

Thomas sank two 3-pointers and added a short jumper for all of his points in a second-period flurry.

New Orleans coach Stan Van Gundy didn’t know what to expect from Thomas in his 2020-21 debut.

“I don’t have any idea,” Van Gundy said before the game. “I know he’ll compete. He’s a tough, tough guy. He’s had one walkthrough with us and hasn’t played in the NBA in a year. I don’t know how anybody could know what to expect tonight.”

Thomas, 32, was needed to rescue the Pelicans’ decimated backcourt. Josh Hart had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and his status will be updated in three weeks.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker was held out after leaving Sunday night’s win over Houston with a left high ankle sprain, and Kira Lewis Jr. did not play due to a strained right calf.

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