MIKE DUNLEAVY
Sparked the Pacers with a double-double in the first half (15 points, 10 rebounds) and finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and three assists, hitting 9-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-6 from the 3-point line.
JIM O'BRIEN
"I thought the turning point in the game was the second quarter. Mike Dunleavy just took over things when it was a tight ballgame, just scored and rebounded and led our team to be able to increase the lead and give us an 11-point boost."
  • Points in the paint: Hawks 50, Pacers 44
  • Fast-break points: Hawks 33, Pacers 18
  • Second-chance points: Pacers 26, Hawks 6
  • Points off turnovers: Pacers 23, Hawks 19
  • Starters scoring: Pacers 74, Hawks 47
  • Bench scoring: Hawks 44, Pacers 39
  • The Pacers didn't outscore their opponent from the free throw line for the 17th consecutive game (the deficit was 26-18) but they did outscore Atlanta 39-3 from the 3-point line.
    A five-game Western Conference road trip against opponents with a combined record of 91-68 (.572) begins Sunday night in Los Angeles against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers (9:30, FSN-Indiana, WFNI-AM 1070).
  • Notes & quotes
  • Coach O'Brien's postgame briefing
  • Plus-minus rankings
  • Game info
  • INDIANA 113, ATLANTA 91
    Dunleavy, Granger spark slump-buster

    By Conrad Brunner | Jan. 4, 2008


    Mike Dunleavy felt so good, he just couldn't help himself. Everything else was falling, so why not a 28-foot pull-up 3-pointer? It missed, barely, but that was one of the few things that didn't go right for the Pacers.

    Playing like this was a game they absolutely had to have – because they did – the Pacers rode Dunleavy's hot shooting to build a lead in the second quarter, then Danny Granger's slump-busting night to blow it open in the third period on their way to a 113-91 rout of Atlanta Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    The victory snapped a five-game losing streak for the Pacers (16-19), who play nine of their next 11 games on the road beginning with a five-game Western Conference road trip that starts Sunday against the Lakers. The Hawks (15-15) lost their third in a row.

    Dunleavy, who had a double-double in the first half (15 points, 10 rebounds), finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and three assists, hitting 9-of-12 shots including 4-of-6 from the 3-point line. Granger tied his career-high with 32 points, hitting 10-of-15 shots including 5-of-6 from the 3-point line, adding nine rebounds and two Kareem Rush was solid off the bench with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting.

    "I thought the turning point in the game was the second quarter," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "Mike Dunleavy just took over things when it was a tight ballgame, just scored and rebounded and led our team to be able to increase the lead and give us an 11-point boost. Our wings really did well. Danny had a very, very nice game. Kareem really played well. … I thought we played an aggressive basketball game."

    The Hawks had rallied to take a 37-36 lead in the second quarter when Dunleavy lit up, accounting for the Pacers' next 12 points – scoring 10 himself and setting up Marquis Daniels on the fast-break for a pair of free throws -- as the Pacers put together an 18-4 run to open a 54-41 lead.

    O'Brien said a "volatile timeout" in which he expressed his displeasure with the team's poor transition defense preceded Dunleavy's explosion.

    "Whatever clicks in Mike, to do what he did in New York (a career-high 36 points) and do what he did for the last 6 minutes of the half, which was brilliant in every phase – passed it, shot it, rebounded, led the break, defended -- it was a pretty impressive thing he was able to accomplish," O'Brien said. "Whatever switch he throws, you would like to see it twice a night because when he throws it he's a heck of a player to watch."

    Granger -- who had averaged just 10.6 points in the losing streak -- stepped forward in the third quarter, scoring eight in a 16-5 run that pushed the advantage to 70-48 and the Pacers jealously protected this big lead. It grew as large as 31 (98-67) in the fourth quarter during garbage time.

    "The last few games have been very frustrating for us," Dunleavy said. "Tonight, we came out focused and ready to play from start to finish. We are 30 games or so into the season and we need to get back on track and continue to move forward. We had to get this one tonight. It was big, very big. We now have to head west."

    With the Pacers shooting 13-of-25 from the 3-point line and dominating the boards 49-35, the Hawks were unable to mount any kind of threat after the second quarter. Josh Childress led Atlanta with 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting off the bench. Josh Smith scored 20 but Joe Johnson was limited to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting.


    NOTEWORTHY
  • David Harrison returned to action after missing the last seven games with back spasms, playing just under 7 minutes.
  • Jamaal Tinsley missed his fourth game in a row due to a sore left hamstring.
  • Shawne Williams won the unofficial Harrison Award, fouling out in less than 9 minutes of playing time.
  • Andre Owens recorded a career-high four assists.