THE FACTS: A defensive stalwart for most of the season, the Indiana Pacers suddenly have become an offensive juggernaut. Racking up a season-high (in regulation) for the second game in a row, the Pacers knocked off their third straight Eastern Conference playoff contender by beating Atlanta 114-103 Tuesday before 12,578 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana (30-19) won its 15th consecutive home game but finishes up the NBA's only back-to-back-to-back set tomorrow on the road against Philadelphia. Paul George scored 22 of his game-high 29 points in the second half for Indiana. Jeff Teague led Atlanta (26-21) with 24 points and eight assists.
QUOTABLE: "We could be real dangerous. Our leading scorer from last year (Danny Granger) is not even in the mix. We're still now coming together offensively. It's just fun basketball."
THE STAT: Indiana has scored at least 100 points five times in the last six games (scoring 98 in the other), averaging 106.0 in the process. In the season's first 43 games, the Pacers broke 100 just seven times and averaged 90.9 points.
TURNING POINT: The bench played a key role in breaking open a close game late in the third quarter, with D.J. Augustin and Ian Mahinmi combining for 10 points in a 15-6 run that pushed a 66-64 lead to 81-70 heading into the fourth quarter. Atlanta got no closer than eight thereafter.
QUOTABLE II: "This team plays with a lot of grit, a lot of unselfishness, a lot of hustle. It's a lot of fun to watch and a lot of fun to coach."
-- Indiana Coach Frank Vogel
HOT: Both team's centers were efficient. Indiana's combination of Roy Hibbert and Mahinmi combined for 24 points and 10 of 12 shooting, while Atlanta's duo of Al Horford and Johan Petro produced 25 points and 11 of 17 shooting. ... George hit five of nine from the 3-point line, but ...
NOT: ... George also hit just 3 of 10 inside the arc. Josh Smith shot 4 of 12 and Kyle Korver was 3 of 13, including 2 of 9 from the 3-point line, for Atlanta.
QUOTABLE III: "It felt like it was 2 hours long."
-- Atlanta's Kyle Korver on the third quarter.
NOTABLE: The game was marred by a delay of roughly 10 minutes while the officiating crew of Bill Kennedy, Josh Tiven and Scott Wall sorted out a replay review on a collision between a driving Augustin and Horford. After much discussion and review of video, the Indiana guard was given a technical foul for hitting Horford below the waist, while the Atlanta center a flagrant for a blow to the head. ... This is the longest home streak for the Pacers since a franchise-record 25-game run in 1999-00. ... Atlanta had won the previous three meetings. ... Indiana's 64 second-half points were their most in any half this season. ... David West tied his career high with five steals. ... Indiana had a season-high 28 assists, led by George Hill's eight. ... All five Indiana starters scored in double figures for the seventh time. ... Atlanta was shorthanded as Devin Harris (left foot) and Zaza Pachulia (right Achilles tendon) did not play. Pachulia missed his third game in a row, Harris his second. ... Petro returned after missing four games with a sore back.
UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Wednesday at Philadelphia, Friday vs. Toronto, Monday vs. Brooklyn. For the Hawks, Wednesday vs. Memphis, Friday vs. New Orleans, Monday at Dallas.