Wednesday, November 7 at 7:30 PM at Philips Arena
Game Rewind: IND 86, ATL 89
by Scott Agness
This one might sting for a few days. The Pacers had the game in their hands with a 14-point lead midway thru the fourth, and lost. In a game full of runs, the Hawks made a late push, outscoring the Pacers 20-3 over the final six-and-a-half minutes to escape with an 89-86 home win.
David West, the veteran, came out on a mission. Going up against a big lineup that the Hawks started the game with—Josh Smith, Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia—West scored eight of the Pacers' first 11 points. Josh Smith, who missed the Hawks' last game with a right ankle sprain, returned and scored their first seven while going at Sam Young. West remained the Pacers' centerpiece on offense until he picked up his second foul with 2:25 left in the first quarter and had to take a seat.
The Hawks opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run, outplaying the Pacers' reserves 21-11 in the first half, and took their biggest lead of the game, 45-34.
With the starters back in, the Pacers got back on track and returned the favor, scoring 10 unanswered points to cut the Hawks' lead to one. During the run, George Hill and Paul George each drained a three, Roy Hibbert made a 20-footer as the shot clock expired and David West nailed the jumper. The Pacers shot 50 percent from the field in the first half. At the break, the Hawks led 51-50.
The third and fourth quarters were nearly exact opposites.
Down 62-56 with 7:45 to go in the third, the Pacers scored 18 straight as the Hawks went without a field goal for over six minutes. Continuing into the early minutes of the fourth, the Hawks made just one of 17 shots.
The Pacers entered the final quarter up 77-65, but the margin quickly disappeared as the Hawks went on a 18-0 spurt and took back the lead, 85-83, on a Jeff Teague three-pointer. Likely after seeing Indiana’s struggles with a zone against Charlotte, Atlanta shifted their defense to a zone and it, too, slowed the Pacers' offense.
Again playing in critical minutes late, Lance Stephenson hit an outside shot with 21.1 seconds to play to bring the Pacers within one. Then, Atlanta's Lou Williams slipped away from the Pacers defender and had an easy dunk. On the Pacers' final possession, Paul George missed a three and the Pacers are left shaking their heads, knowing they let this one slip away, 89-86.
Inside the Numbers
David West had 20 points and six rebounds. George Hill finished with a season-high 20 points, five assists and four steals.
Al Horford led the Hawks with 16 points and nine rebounds. Jeff Teague recorded 15 points, six rebounds, six assists and hit big shots late. Josh Smith scored 11 points, nine of which game in the first quarter.
For the first time this year, the Pacers were out-rebounded (51-41). The Hawks also scored 48 points in the paint to the Pacers' 36.
The Pacers took a little better care of the ball, turning it over 15 times—a season-low.
With 29 combined fouls, neither team had many tries at the free throw line. The Pacers were 8-for-9, while the Hawks were just 6-of-12.
Stat of the Game
The Pacers' three points in the final 6:33 was the difference, getting outscored 20-3 down the stretch.
"It was a struggle for us to score down the stretch. We competed hard, but it just wasn’t enough. We had the lineup on the floor that gave us the best chance to win, and we got some good looks, but we ran out of gas down the stretch. I extended the starters’ minutes in the third quarter as we were trying everything we could to get back in the game." – Frank Vogel
"We just broke down on both sides of the court at the end tonight. We have to figure out what we can do better both offensively and defensively. I have to start with myself, holding everyone else out there more accountable, and holding myself more accountable." – George Hill
"It is what it is. We just have to figure out a way. They found something that worked for them, and we didn’t come up with an answer. It’s on us as a whole unit to figure out how to make shots in those situations." – George Hill on the Hawks zone
"On the last few possessions that they had, we needed to make a stop, and instead they got dunks and easy shots. They started hitting their open shots and really clicking, and (Kyle) Korver got hot. We’ve got to figure something out." – Roy Hibbert
- Jeff Pendergraph was inactive due to a concussion.
- Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia were each assessed technical fouls in the third.
- George Hill’s coach at IUPUI, Ron Hunter (now the head coach at Georgia State), was part of the sparse crowd at the game.
The Pacers wrap up a three-game road trip on Friday, November 9th in Minnesota at 8:00 PM EST. The Pacers next home game is Saturday, November 10th at 7:00 PM versus the Wizards. Buy Tickets »