Hawks Fight Off Pacers for Third Straight Win

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
By Jon Newberry


The Hawks battled there way to a tough 101-96 road win over the Pacers on Tuesday night behind 27 points and nine rebounds from Josh Smith.

Atlanta raced out to a 16-point lead early in the second quarter before Indiana rallied all the way back to take a one point advantage and set up the exciting finish. For the second time in less than a week, Jannero Pargo contributed double-digit points in the fourth quarter, this time hitting three shots from behind the arc to keep Atlanta in front.

“Guys came in and made shots,” Atlanta guard Jeff Teague said after the win. “Everybody contributed. Josh got us going early and the team just took over from there. It was a team effort.”

Atlanta built their first half lead behind hot shooting from Smith (x-of-x in the first half), and superb bench play from Ivan Johnson (nine first half points) and Erick Dampier. Then, after the lead topped out at xx-xx, the Hawks’s shooting finally cooled off and the lead was reduced to just four points at the half.

The Pacers inched ahead 71-69 late in the third, but Atlanta responded with a 7-0 run to close out the period and never trailed the rest of the way.

“Coming in a building like this, you’re not going to get in position where you’ll blow these guys out,” Coach Drew said after the game. “They’re too good to where they are not just going to go away. Particularly on the road we have to learn to withstand the runs. I’m proud of our guys for weathering the storm. They didn’t panic.”

The Hawks were without the services of Joe Johnson (knee) and Willie Green (back) for the third straight game. Both are listed on the injury report as “day-to-day” and their status has not been determined for Wednesday night’s game against the Heat in Miami.

– Josh Smith carried Atlanta for three quarters, and Jannero Pargo finished the job, as the streaking Hawks won their third straight on Tuesday in Indiana, 101-96 … In the process, the Hawks won the season series against the Pacers, 2-1.

– Smith scored all 27 of his points in the first three periods, while Pargo scored 11 of his 16 in the closing period … Zaza Pachulia put together his third double-double in four games (12 pts/10 rebs) and Marvin Williams tossed in 12 … Tracy McGrady had all 6 of his assists in the fourth quarter.

– The Hawks moved to 12-0 when Smith scores 20-or-more, and 15-0 when shooting at least 45 percent from the floor (Atlanta hit .458 tonight).

– Atlanta jumped out by as many as 10 early, taking a 29-22 advantage after one … The lead ballooned to 16 before the Pacers trimmed it to four at the halfway point … The Pacers took the lead briefly at 71-69, but the Hawks took it back and with a 7-0 run to end the period … Atlanta held the lead the rest of the way, riding Pargo’s hot hand and getting stops when necessary.

– Smith is averaging 23.4 ppg and 12.4 rpg in Atlanta’s last five contests (four wins).

– The Hawks play the Heat tomorrow night in Miami (7:30 pm, SportSouth HD/NBA TV/680 AM/93.7 FM).