Atlanta Hawks beat New Orleans Pelicans 108-104 in overtime

Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford scored a career-high 18 points and a team-high 14 rebounds for the Atlanta Hawks, who overcame a sluggish start by beating the New Orleans Hornets 108-102 on Sunday.

The Hawks shot 60.9 percent, led by Al Horcoff’s eight-point, seven-rebound performance.

Atlanta improved to 4-1 against the Pelicans this season.

The Hornets, who are 10-6 against the Hawks, were coming off a 104-98 loss at Atlanta on Thursday night.

Kemba Walker scored 21 points for New Orleans.

The Pelicans led by as many as 15 in the second half before the Hawks took over.

Horford led Atlanta with 17 points.

The rookie scored seven in the first half.

Hornets center DeMarre Carroll scored 11 points and had 11 rebounds for New York.

The Knicks, who lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 110-102 last week, fell to 3-5 in their past four games.

“We knew the second game was going to be a big one,” Carroll said.

“So we just kept our composure.

We came out strong.

We didn’t give up a lot.

We just got a lot of stops.”

New Orleans, which shot 44.4 percent in the third quarter, had no answer for the Hawks in the fourth.

Horstford scored six points in the period and had five rebounds.

“He did a great job of getting the ball to our players, but also making them better,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said.

The third quarter was the last time the Hawks would score more than nine points before the Hornets pulled away.

Horbford, who is averaging 15.0 points on 47.5 percent shooting in his past five games, added 12 points in 19:36.

He scored 14 points with five rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes off the bench.

“That’s what I like about him, he’s got a high-level of play, he knows how to play, so we knew that’s going to happen,” Hornets forward Quincy Pondexter said.

It was a game in which New Orleans struggled mightily.

It has scored 99.8 points per game in its last two losses.

The New Orleans loss dropped the Hornets to 2-5 against the NBA’s worst defense, allowing 110.8.

“I was just not happy,” Williams said of the defense.

“You know what, they were not good enough defensively in the last quarter.”

Kemba was in foul trouble and missed his second consecutive game with a bruised right knee.

He was not available for comment.

Walker scored 13 points and hit five 3-pointers.

Walker has averaged 21.7 points and 11.3 rebounds in the past four meetings.

“It was just a game, Kemba,” Williams told reporters.

“They had a chance to get a win, but they couldn’t get out of their own way.”

The Hornets shot 50.5% overall and shot 41.2% from the field, including 26.6 percent from 3-point range.

New Orleans has allowed an average of 100.3 points in its past four road games, including 94.9 in its previous five.