Notebook: Pacers 113, Hawks 98

Posted Apr 24, 2013 11:56 PM

Conrad Brunner, for

THE FACTS: In theory, all Indiana has done is protect its home court. In practice, however, the Pacers have established a position of dominance in their best-of-seven first-round playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks. Paul George scored 27 points as Indiana rolled to its second consecutive blowout win, 113-98, Wednesday before a sellout crowd of 18,165 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers will take a 2-0 series lead to Atlanta for Game 3 Saturday night, while the Hawks -- a visibly frustrated team that picked up three technical fouls showing displeasure with officiating -- go back to the drawing board. George Hill added 22 for the Pacers, while Devin Harris lead the Hawks with 17 points.

QUOTABLE: "Proud of our guys for playing a pretty complete basketball game. There are still some areas we need to improve. We had some adversity to overcome with Lance (Stephenson) being injured and David (West) being in foul trouble, but the bench stepped up and made a lot of big plays."
-- Indiana Coach Frank Vogel

THE STAT: Indiana has lost its last 11 games in Atlanta, a streak that dates back to 2006.

TURNING POINT: The Pacers controlled most of the game but could not put the Hawks away until the fourth quarter. A 3-pointer by Josh Smith cut it to 95-85 with 8:15 left but that's where Indiana took over, tightening the defensive screws as Atlanta went nearly five minutes without a bucket. Indiana put together a 15-1 run, with Hill scoring nine, to push the lead to 110-86 and it was time for both coaches to clear their respective benches.

QUOTABLE II: "The one thing we're finding out in this series is the importance of sustaining for 48 minutes. We have not done that thus far. For three quarters, the tempo was kind of where we wanted it but we made too many mistakes -- not turnover mistakes, but mistakes in the defense. The margin for error against a team like this is very small and we have to be better."
-- Atlanta Coach Larry Drew

GOOD MOVE: The Hawks appeared to be surging into the fourth quarter, as Mike Scott's baseline jumper gave them a 6-0 run and cut Indiana's lead to 86-76 with 1.2 seconds left in the third. But David West sailed a perfect length-of-the-court lead pass to a sprinting Gerald Green, whose dunk with one-tenth of a second left pushed the lead to 12, brought the house down and effectively killed Atlanta's momentum.

BAD MOVE: A little more than two minutes into the game, with Atlanta opening on a 5-0 run, Josh Smith picked up his second foul and headed to the bench, beginning a tortured night for the Atlanta star that skewed the Hawks' rotations and matchups and robbed the defense of its back-line eraser. Smith wound up playing 19:59 and produced 16 points and six rebounds but was never a factor in the game.

HOT: George shot 11 for 21 and added eight rebounds, four steals and three assists without a turnover in another virtuoso performance at both ends of the floor. ... Hill hit 4 for 7 from the 3-point line and is 7 for 12e for the series. ... Green made 3 for 6 from the arc and is 6 for 13 from long-range. ... Smith hit 7 for 10 in limited playing time.

NOT: Kyle Korver continued to struggle, shooting 3 for 10 overall, 3 for 9 from the arc. He is 5 for 17 overall for the series.

QUOTABLE III: "I said I won't shy away from the moment and the moment is now. For the team to play well, I have to play well. I don't want to let the team down."
-- George

NOTABLE: Indiana lost starting shooting guard Lance Stephenson to a bruised right hip when he landed hard after picking up an offensive foul on a drive with 2:47 left in the first quarter. He returned to start the second half but played only briefly before heading back to the bench. ... Hill took a nasty spill in the fourth quarter but stayed in the game. ... Indiana's West also battled foul trouble and wound up with seven points and one rebound in 20 minutes. ... Devin Harris earned a technical foul for protesting a no-call with seven-tenths of a second left in the first quarter, and Al Horford for reacting after a foul was called with 8:23 in the second quarter.

UP NEXT: Game 3 Saturday at Atlanta (7 p.m.), Game 4 Monday at Atlanta (7:30), Game 5 (if necessary) Wednesday at Indianapolis (TBD).