Hawks Take 3-2 Series Lead With Win In Indiana
The Hawks (3-2) got a 107-97 victory on the road against the Pacers (2-3) thanks to a dominant 41-19 second quarter performance led by¬†Mike Scott and¬†Shelvin Mack. The Hawks trailed after the first quarter by one, but Scott’s 17 points and Mack’s 13 off the bench in the second quarter lifted them to a 21-point halftime lead (full details on that second quarter performance here¬†including video of all five Mike Scott threes).
|Hawks vs. Pacers|
Atlanta got off to a sloppy start, with six turnovers in the first quarter but played good defense to limit the Pacers to 21 points in the first and only four points off of those six turnovers. When they didn’t turn it over, the Hawks offense was effective, shooting 50% from the field and were led in the first quarter by¬†Jeff Teague¬†– seven points and two rebounds — and¬†Paul Millsap — five points, three blocks, two rebounds.
Scott’s five three-pointers in the second quarter was the second most in NBA playoff history for three-pointers in a quarter — that record belongs to¬†Antoine Walker‘s six from 2002. The 41 points in the second quarter tied the franchise record for highest scoring second quarter — 41 in April 1986 against Detroit. Scott’s 17 points, all of which coming in the second quarter, set a new career playoff-high for him.
As the Hawks pulled away in the second quarter, the Pacers started to press, looking for a spark to get them back into the game. In the third quarter, after falling behind by as many as 30, Indiana found that spark in Paul George and¬†CJ Watson, to help cut the Indiana deficit to 20 heading into the fourth quarter. George was great all game once again, with 26 points to lead all scorers along with 12 rebounds, six assists, and six steals.
Watson and George combined for 20 points in the fourth quarter on 80% shooting (4-of-6 from three), and were the main reasons the Pacers were able to chip away at the lead —¬†Chris Copeland had six points off the bench as well. Three Pacers finished with 16 points —¬†David West,¬†Lance Stephenson, and¬†George Hill — but the late surge just wasn’t enough.
The Pacers got the Hawks lead down to as little as nine with 4:04 to play, but¬†Kyle Korver stepped up and drilled a huge three-pointer from 27-feet on the wing to put the Hawks back up 12. The Pacers never got within fewer than eight points — and that came with 31 seconds remaining. Indiana did a great job in the fourth to frustrate the Hawks offense into tough shots and turnovers — Hawks had four turnovers in the fourth.
The Hawks, despite the scare, held their composure long enough and iced the game away at the free throw line, as Mack and Millsap were a perfect 8-for-8 from the stripe down the stretch. Mack set a career playoff-high with his 20 points — all in the second and fourth quarters — along with five assists and two steals. Millsap had 18 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, and three assists in a well-balanced game.¬†
After seven points in the first quarter, Teague’s scoring slowed — partially because of Mack’s effectiveness at the point — and he finished with 12 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Korver ended up with 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting — all three-point attempts — along with nine rebounds, tying his playoff career-high set in Game 4.¬†DeMarre Carroll had 15 points in 28 minutes and¬†Lou Williams gave the Hawks eight points off the bench —¬†Atlanta’s bench out-scored the Pacers’ 45-23.
The win was just the Hawks’ fifth in 19 opportunities in a playoff series tied 2-2, and in NBA history, the team that has won in Game 5 in a tied series goes on to win the series 83% of the time.
The Hawks will look to wrap up the series back home for Game 6 on Thursday night.
Tweet of the Night
— Garrett Johnson (@Garrett_LJ) April 29, 2014