Tuesday, October 16 at 7:00 PM at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Rewind: Indiana 102, Atlanta 98
by Scott Agness
It was a night for the highlight reel. The Hawks’ Ivan Johnson closed the first quarter with a half-court heave to beat the buzzer and regain the lead. Paul George showed he could play that game too, nailing a three-pointer as the Pacers took a two-point lead into the locker room. Later, multiple plays finished on alley-oops as Indiana edged Atlanta 102-98 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The game was back-and-forth early, featuring five ties and 11 lead changes. The Pacers' biggest lead was 13 as they controlled the game for most of the second half.
Atlanta made a final push in the fourth quarter, scoring five points in a row to cut the deficit to one with 1:47 remaining, but the Pacers closed to pick up their second victory in a row.
The Hawks were without two of their top players as Josh Smith and Al Horford were both inactive.
Paul George scored a game-high 20 points, more than half (11-for-11) coming at the free-throw line. George also had eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and a big alley-oop dunk on a pass from Hibbert.
The Pacers had a good defensive night, holding the Hawks to 39-percent from the field and not allowing Atlanta’s big men to get comfortable. Zaza Pachula chipped-in only six points before fouling out.
Once again, turnovers were a problem for the Pacers. They were sloppy with the basketball at times and turned the ball over 20 times.
Indiana had five players in double figures, and Paul George and Tyler Hansbrough were a couple of rebounds from finishing the night like Hibbert, with a double-double.
Inside the Numbers
David West had an efficient evening, scoring 11 points (5-for-5 at the free throw line) and grabbing three rebounds while playing the entire first quarter. Coach Vogel then let West have the rest of the night off.
Roy Hibbert contributed in nearly every way Tuesday. In almost 26 minutes of action, Hibbert had 18 points (4-for-4 FTs), 10 rebounds, six blocks, and two assists (plus five turnovers).
Tyler Hansbrough’s line from the field wasn’t pretty. From the field, he was 1-of-8 and missed the Pacers' only free-throws, but he did close with seven points and nine rebounds.
D.J. Augustin scored 13 points and showed his shooting touch, making 5-of-7 shots including his first three shots from outside.
Coach Vogel played just 11 players, all of whom scored at least four points.
Hawks starting point guard Jeff Teague had a nice homecoming, tallying 11 points, four rebounds and five assists in front of his hometown crowd.
"I think it will come quickly. When they play together in practice, it's there. I'm comfortable with the way the preseason is progressing because if everybody was healthy we'd still be playing the guys we're playing." – Vogel on chemistry
"He showed his assertiveness. It's not showing up in his field goal percentage yet, but he's attacking the basket, getting to the free-throw line and scoring in a variety of ways." – Frank Vogel on Paul George.
"I've been encouraging him to put pressure on defenses when he's off the basketball and challenge them to stay home on him and if they give him the slightest air space to pull the trigger. He did that tonight." – Vogel on Augustin
"He passes the ball really well. Whenever he looks for people we try to get him a look since he's looking out for us." – Hibbert on Augustin's play
"We haven't had any days off, and it's been one thing getting down to business. Something else that seems really good this year is that we're all working and supporting each other. It's preseason and Coach is still really figuring us out. But one thing that's obvious: our bench really pushes us." – Hibbert on the season so far
"It worked out because I got a chance to play some guys more minutes and to see different combinations. In this preseason we'll continue to evaluate before we cut our roster down any further. But I got a chance to see some things I wanted to see the first few games." – Hawks coach Larry Drew on playing without Josh Smith and Al Horford
Stat of the Game
The Pacers connected on their first 22 free-throws before a Tyler Hansbrough miss. Hansbrough would later miss three more, but the Pacers still finished the night 31-of-35 (89%) from the charity stripe, outscoring the Hawks by 14.
- Blake Ahearn, Sundiata Gaines, Luke Nevill and Sam Young didn't play (coach’s decision).
- Danny Granger and George Hill, who have yet to play in the preseason, both were inactive. Ian Mahinmi was also inactive in order to give Miles Plumlee more minutes.
- The game was played with only two officials in the second half as veteran Bennett Salvatore attended to a calf injury.
- Announced attendance for Bankers Life Fieldhouse was 10,786
- Pacers starters: Augustin, George, Johnson, West, Hibbert.
Indiana will head back on the road, meeting the Magic on Friday in Orlando (7 p.m., on 1070 The Fan). It will be their fourth of seven preseason games. The Pacers open the regular season Oct. 31st in Toronto (7 p.m., 1070 The Fan).
Indiana's first home game will be on Saturday, November 3rd against the Sacramento Kings. Tickets for Opening Night go on sale to the general public on October 18th. The next home preseason game is this Saturday, October 20th vs the Grizzlies ( Tickets » ).