Hawks Dominate Pacers in Indiana

Sunday, April 6, 2014
By Robby Kalland

Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers

The Hawks (34-42) came out hot in Indiana (53-25), jumping out to a 9-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back on their way to a 107-88 victory over the Pacers. Atlanta shot 56.2% from the field (41-of-73) and 44.4% from three (12-of-27) for the game, and they held the Pacers’ offense to 41% overall (32-of-78) and 25% from three (5-of-20).

Hawks vs. Pacers
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The Hawks were dominant on both ends of the floor in the first half, taking a 55-23 lead at the break. The Pacers’ 23 points in the first half marked a season-low for them in a half. The Pacers made a few runs in the second half, but could never get the deficit down to less than 13 after the 5:50 mark in the first quarter.

Jeff Teague led all scorers with 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting, while, with Lou Williams out with a sore hamstring, Shelvin Mack had 13 points and a team-high seven assists as the first guard off the bench. The Hawks backcourt was not only efficient on the offensive end, but was also stout defensively, holding George Hill and Lance Stephenson to a combined 15 points on 4-of-16 shooting.

The Hawks early dominance forced the Pacers to call a pair of early timeouts, and Pacers coach Frank Vogel pulled all five of his starters after six minutes of play when they were down 17-3. The Hawks shot 66.7% from the field in the first quarter and made 5-of-9 from three-point range, while holding the Pacers to 11 points on 21.1% shooting (0-for-5 from three).

Roy Hibbert only played nine minutes, none in the second half, and for the second time this season, he struggled to deal with Pero Antic‘s ability to stretch the floor. Antic, who was uncertain whether he would be able to play until right before the game with ankle soreness, had 18 points and six rebounds on the game, and made 7-of-8 from the field including three three-pointers.

Paul Millsap recorded his fourth straight double-double and 27th of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Millsap suffered a right thumb injury in the third quarter, but was able to return to the game, although he was protective of the thumb using his left hand more around the rim.

On the wing, Kyle Korver had 11 points, six rebounds, and five assists and was 5-for-7 from the field as he seems to have regained his rhythm since returning from his back injury. DeMarre Carroll was quiet offensively, scoring five points on 2-of-3 shooting, but was terrific defensively, holding Paul George to 18 points on 6-of-17 shooting. Cartier Martin saw his first action in four games with Williams out, and made the most of his opportunity with nine points and five rebounds.

The victory moved the Hawks to 8-1 since the All-Star break with the Teague, Korver, Carroll, Millsap, and Antic starting lineup, and moved them ever closer to securing the eighth seed — also aided by a Knicks loss in Miami. The Hawks magic number for the playoffs is now at three, and they will be back in action on Tuesday when the Pistons come to town for their make-up game from February.

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Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty Images

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