Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:30 PM ET at Philips Arena
Game Rewind: Pacers 89, Hawks 85
Manny Randhawa | Updated: February 4, 2014, 11:45 p.m.
It wasn't easy, but the Pacers finally snapped a 12-game regular season losing streak at Philips Arena by holding off a late Hawks rally to beat Atlanta 89-85 Tuesday night.
After Indiana opened up its largest lead of the game by going ahead 73-57 with 8:10 remaining in regulation, Atlanta went on a 17-5 run fueled by Mike Scott and Elton Brand, who came off the bench and finished with 15 and 12 points, respectively, for the Hawks.
With the lead cut to just four with 2:24 to play, David West -- who led Indiana with 22 points on 10-of-19 shooting on the night -- hit a crucial 11-footer to extend the lead to 80-74. That was immediately followed by a Paul George steal and breakaway dunk to give the Pacers some breathing room with 1:51 to go. George finished with 18 points on 6-of-16 from the field.
But Atlanta's bench wouldn't capitulate, as Scott and Cartier Martin hit two late 3-pointers to cut Indiana's lead to 2, at 86-84 with 14 seconds to play.
C.J. Watson and Paul Millsap then traded free-throws (each making one of two) before Danny Granger sealed the victory by sinking two foul shots with three seconds left on the clock.
The Pacers shot the ball well in the first half -- connecting on 53 percent of their field goal attempts -- but went into the locker room at halftime trailing 43-42, primarily because of 14 first-half turnovers that led to 17 Hawks points. In the second half, Indiana's shooting percentage went down, but so did their turnovers. The Pacers gave the ball away just five times in the final 24 minutes and were able to build a lead that proved insurmountable for Atlanta despite the furious late charge.
Lance Stephenson -- who had 10 points and four rebounds -- had to leave the game in the third quarter with a sore lower back sustained while hitting the floor hard following a layup and foul. Stephenson was inadvertently upended by Millsap and landed directly on his back. He got back to his feet, however, and made the free-throw to complete the 3-point play before exiting the contest.
To go along with his game-high 22 points, West also grabbed 10 rebounds to notch a double-double. Danny Granger, Luis Scola and C.J. Watson each contributed eight points off the bench for Indiana.
The Pacers held an opponent under 90 points for the second consecutive game following eight games in which opponents scored over 90 against Indiana -- four in which they scored over 100. George said that the defensive effort is returning to a level that the Pacers expect every night.
"That's what we do," George said. "We guard. It got away from us for a little while a couple of weeks ago, but I think we're really getting back to really settling down and guarding as a group."
George -- a Denver Broncos fan -- jokingly compared the defensive performance to that of the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl last Sunday. But he quickly clarified his feelings on the matter when asked if the Seahawks comparison would be one that could stick with the Pacers.
"I'm a Broncos fan," George said. "So I hope we can kill that soon."
With the victory, the Pacers improved their road record to 15-8, and also improved their NBA-best overall record to 38-10.
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers were outscored in the paint 36-28 by the Hawks. The Pacers are now 9-5 when outscored in the paint by an opponent, and 26-3 when winning the battle in the paint.
The Pacers have now outrebounded their opponent in six consecutive games (they outrebounded Atlanta 40-38) and in 13 of their last 15 contests overall.
Indiana's bench was outscored by Atlanta's bench 46-26.
No Hawks starter scored in double figures. Kyle Korver extended his NBA-record by hitting a 3-pointer in his 116th consecutive game. It was his only trey of the night (1-for-5) and it came in the first quarter.
- After allowing just 13 third quarter points against the Orlando Magic on Monday night, the Pacers allowed just 12 third-quarter points to the Hawks. By outscoring Atlanta 24-12 in the third period, the Pacers have now outscored opponents by 238 points in the third quarter this season.
- With the victory over Atlanta, the Pacers improved to 14-7 this season when trailing at halftime (Indiana trailed the Hawks 43-42 at the half). They also improved to 34-1 this season when leading after three quarters.
- David West has scored in double figures in eight of his last nine games, and is averaging 16.8 points per game over that span. His double-double against the Hawks was his fifth of the season, the last coming against the Clippers in Los Angeles on Dec. 1, when West scored 24 points and hauled in 12 rebounds. The Pacers have won all five games in which West has registered a double-double this season.
- With 10 points in the win against the Hawks, Lance Stephenson is now only six points shy of 1,500 for his career, and 23 short of tying his career-high for points scored in a single season (687, 2012-13).
The Pacers return home to take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in a nationally-televised game on ESPN. Indiana is looking to avenge a 106-102 loss in Portland on Dec. 2. Find Tickets »