Dec. 26, 2009 at Conseco Fieldhouse
Hawks 110, Pacers 98
Player of the Game
Veteran guard had his best game of the season off the bench, racking up 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-5 from the 3-point line, in 25 minutes.
Points in the paint: Hawks 48, Pacers 40
Fast-break points: Hawks 20, Pacers 14
Second-chance points: Pacers 17, Hawks 6
Points off turnovers: Hawks 22, Pacers 11
Starters scoring: Hawks 84, Pacers 35
Bench scoring: Pacers 63, Hawks 28
Stat of the Night
Aside from Troy Murphy, Indiana's other four starters combined for 16 points on 7-of-26 shooting (.269) with eight turnovers. Even with Murphy's 19 points, the Pacers got a season-low 35 points from the first unit.
The Pacers were without Jeff Foster (back) for the third consecutive game. There is no timetable for his return. Danny Granger (foot) and Travis Diener (toe) were the other inactives.
After Indiana's starters were outscored 49-17 in the first half, Coach Jim O'Brien brought three new starters out for the second, with T.J. Ford and Brandon Rush in the backcourt and Tyler Hansbrough at center.
Josh McRoberts played the final 3 minutes, his first game time in more than a month.
With 25 points and 19 rebounds, Al Horford registered his 15th double-double of the season. His 19 rebounds are a season-high and 25 points matches his most this season.
The Hawks had 12 steals and just 11 turnovers tonight. That is their fourth game with more steals than turnovers this season, and their second in two games with Indiana.
With five of the team's 14 offensive rebounds, Tyler Hansbrough has now gathered 51 offensive rebounds, which is second best on the team to Roy Hibbert's 67 offensive rebounds.
Including 1-1 tonight, Brandon Rush has shot 7-8 from beyond the arc in the last four games.
The Hawks' three offensive rebounds is Atlanta's fewest of the season, and the fewest by a Pacers' opponent this season.
Indiana's point guards, Earl Watson and T.J. Ford, combined for 11 assists and just one turnover. Ford's nine assists represent his second best total of the season.
The Indiana bench shot 24-48 FGS and totaled a season-high 63 points.
Tonight's loss gives the Pacers a 5-8 record in games in which they outrebound the opposition. The Pacers won the battle of the boards tonight, 47-37. Every player in uniform for Indiana had at least one rebound.
Including five each from Al Horford and Josh Smith, the Hawks tied a season-high with 11 blocked shots, the most by any team against Indiana this season.
The Pacers head to Miami to face Dwyane Wade, Jermaine O'Neal and the Heat on Sunday (6 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, 1070 The Fan).
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A recurring matchup nightmare because of their athletic, aggressive front line, the Atlanta Hawks dominated the Pacers from the opening tip to the final buzzer in a 110-98 rout before 15,281 Saturday in Conseco Fieldhouse. Atlanta center Al Horford had 25 points, 19 rebounds and five blocked shots, bringing his two-game totals against the Pacers to 49 points, 35 rebounds and seven blocks – not to mention 22-of-31 shooting (71 percent).
The Pacers (9-19) lost their fifth in a row overall and fifth straight to the Hawks. Indiana lost for the 16th time in 20 games after a 5-3 start. The Hawks improved to 21-8 overall, 9-6 on the road.
“We got ourselves in a hole we never got out of. We started sluggish." – Jim O'Brien.
"Clearly his legs aren’t in the type of game shape they need to be. It’s a dilemma. I have to talk to our medical staff about their impressions.” – O'Brien on Mike Dunleavy.
“We turned the ball over too much. You can’t get down on a good team like Atlanta and expect to dig out. They’re too strong and too good of a basketball team." – Troy Murphy.
"We’ve got to jump on this plane and get ready and get down there and get a win. We know that they’ll be ready and we’ll have to play our best basketball to pull anything off. We must be loaded up and ready to go from the beginning. We can’t play from behind." – Murphy in Sunday's game in Miami.
"If we don’t win stats don’t count. We got in too deep of a hole and we can’t do that and dig out all the time." – Luther Head.
The Pacers came out flat and were steamrolled by the Hawks, who jumped out to a 9-0 lead and stretched it to 33-16 late in the period before the second unit brought some energy to the game.
With Tyler Hansbrough and Luther Head playing well, the Pacers produced a 13-0 run to cut the lead to 33-29 early in the second quarter but after Brandon Rush's jumper with 7:38 left in the half cut it to 37-33, the starters returned and the Hawks again took control. The Pacers went more than six minutes without a basket as Atlanta scored 10 straight to push the lead to 47-33.
Though O'Brien brought in three new starters for the second half (T.J. Ford, Brandon Rush and Hansbrough instead of Earl Watson, Mike Dunleavy and Roy Hibbert), the Hawks again opened strong with a 12-4 burst that made it 63-46 and the Pacers got no closer than 10 the rest of the way.
The last gasp came in the fourth quarter after Hansbrough's free throw cut it to 95-84 with 5:13 left, but Dunleavy fouled Jamal Crawford beyond the arc and the resulting four-point play put it away.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Pacers shot .444 overall, were 6-of-14 from the 3-point line and outrebounded the Hawks 47-37 but committed 16 turnovers and were outscored 22-11 on points off turnovers. The starters produced a season-low 35 points while the bench had a season-high 63. Murphy had 19 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks, making 9-of-16 from the field. Hansbrough had his second career double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds and Head had his best game since November 2008 with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-5 from the arc. T.J. Ford had 10 points, nine assists and four rebounds off the bench. Dunleavy continued to struggle, scoring just two points with five turnovers in 24 minutes.
Horford shot 11-of-14 in racking up his 25 points. Joe Johnson scored 24 on 8-of-14 shooting, while Josh Smith had 22 points, six rebounds, five assists, five blocks and four steals. Crawford scored 19 off the bench. The Hawks shot .506 overall and outscored the Pacers 24-12 from the free-throw line.