John Jenkins scored 13 points, making a 3-pointer with less than 2 minutes remaining to help stop New Orleans' comeback, and Atlanta beat the Pelicans 93-87 on Monday night in the Hawks' preseason opener.
Ryan Anderson had 14 points for the Pelicans, who trailed 78-63 after three periods before trimming the deficit to 86-83. Jrue Holiday had 13 points and Eric Gordon added 12 for New Orleans.
Mike Scott and Jeff Teague each had 11 points for Atlanta.
Atlanta's offseason was marred by the racially charged comments by co-owner Bruce Levenson, who is selling his majority share of the team, and general manager Danny Ferry, who has taken an indefinite leave of absence.
There was no apparent reaction to the controversy from fans at the game.