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, 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.
Pelicans: F Brandon Ingram (right toe) missed his third consecutive game. … After being held to a season-low 34 rebounds in their 126-103 home loss to the Hawks on Friday night while playing without Williamson, New Orleans had 30 rebounds in just the first half and outrebounded Atlanta 48-42 for the game.
Hawks: Atlanta has won seven consecutive home games, its longest streak since 12 in a rom from Dec. 30, 2014 to Feb. , 2015. … Clint Capela had 12 points and 12 rebounds in his 33rd double-double of the season.
Thomas sank two 3-pointers and added a short jumper for all of his points in a second-period flurry. He played 25 minutes and made 4 of 13 shots from the field.
“I thought he played fine, certainly as well as you could expect for somebody who hasn’t played in a year,” Van Gundy said.
McMillan said before the game “we hope to get healthy here soon.” Just not real soon. McMillan said F De’Andre Hunter will miss “the next few games” following a nonsurgical procedure Monday on his right knee to address lingering soreness. McMillan said Hunter is on pace to return before F John Collins, who missed his fourth consecutive game with a left ankle sprain.
Pelicans: Visit Brooklyn on Wednesday night.
Hawks: Host Memphis on Wednesday night.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports