Pacers Dominate Second Half, Tie Series With Hawks
The Pacers (1-1) jumped out to a 7-0 lead early, but the Hawks (1-1) — like in Game 1 — answered the bell and led by as many as 11 in the second quarter and were up 52-48 at the half. Unfortunately for the Hawks, the third quarter had to happen, and the Pacers dominated on both ends of the floor, outscoring the Hawks 31-13, and took a commanding lead that ended up with a 101-85 victory for Indiana to tie the series at a game apiece.
|Hawks vs. Pacers|
Luis Scola gave the Pacers a huge lift off the bench with 20 points and seven rebounds and shot 64.3% from the field. Paul George led all scorers with 27 points along with 10 rebounds, six assists, and four steals in a massive performance from the Pacers’ All-Star forward. George Hill came alive in the third quarter after a rough opening six quarters to the series, as he dropped 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the third to help spark the Pacers’ run.
Over the course of the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarters, the Pacers went on a 19-0 run while the Hawks went 0-for-12 from the field. Indiana’s defense returned to the dominant form they showed in the first half of the season as they held the Hawks to 25% shooting. The Pacers were trapping pick-and-rolls hard, while doing a great job rotating out onto the Hawks shooters, who went 1-for-8 from three in the third after going 8-for-16 in the first half.
The dramatic difference between the Hawks’ offensive success in the first half — 50% shooting from the field and three-point range — to the second half — 29.3% from the field and 15.4% from three. The Pacers’ defense was locked in, forcing the Hawks into contested attempts anytime they got near the basket and chased out on three-point shooters. When Atlanta was able to get a good look in the second half, they were unable to capitalize. For the second straight game Kyle Korver was unable to find his stroke despite getting a few good looks. Korver only took one shot attempt in the first half and finished the game 1-of-5 from the field.
With the Pacers clicking on all cylinders and holding as much as a 27-point fourth quarter lead, both teams played the reserves for the remainder of the game. In that time, the Hawks closed the gap to 16, as Dennis Schröder and Cartier Martin combined for nine late points.
Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague looked great in the first half, but like the rest of the Hawks they were casualties of the Pacers’ defense in the second half. Millsap led the Hawks with 19 points and four rebounds while Teague had 14 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Both players did most of their damage in the first half, combining for 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting.
The Hawks bench looked excellent in the first half as well, as they were the group that extended Atlanta’s second quarter lead to a game-high 11 points. Shelvin Mack, Mike Scott, Lou Williams and Elton Brand all had solid first halves and combined for 17 points, led by Williams’ nine.
The Pacers were just too dominant in the second half. They were tenacious on defense and aggressive on offense. The Indiana bench — a weak spot at times this year — was just as effective as the starters thanks to Scola’s scoring and the entire team’s defensive effort.
The Hawks still have to consider the first two games a success. Any time as the road team — much less the eighth seed — you can get one of the first two games on the road to take home-court advantage it’s a success. Now is the hard part — defending home court. Atlanta will host the Pacers for Game 3 on Thursday night at 7 p.m. and then on Saturday for Game 4 for a 2 p.m. tip-off.
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— Abdoulie Jammeh⚽️ (@Jammeh_2) April 23, 2014
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