Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 108, Hawks 98
Wheat Hotchkiss | February 18, 2014
After dropping two of their last three games before the All-Star break in disappointing fashion, the Indiana Pacers were eager to start the second half of the year on the right foot.
The Pacers (41-12) did just that on Tuesday night, bursting out of the gates and holding off the Atlanta Hawks (25-27) for a 108-98 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Paul George led Indiana with 26 points, while David West chipped in 17 points and six rebounds, as the blue and gold extended their NBA-best home record to 26-3.
The Pacers got off to a sizzling start, hitting 13 of their first 14 shots and jumping out to a 31-9 lead less than seven and a half minutes into the game.
George, who entered Tuesday’s game shooting just 35 percent from the field in February, hit his first six shots during the Pacers’ opening onslaught. George drained two 3-pointers and threw down a tomahawk jam with each hand to help the Pacers out to a 22-point lead.
Indiana looked ready for a romp, but the Hawks slowly fought their way back into the game. As the Pacers inevitably cooled off, Atlanta hit 11 of its next 17 shots. Lou Williams provided the Hawks with a spark off the bench, scoring 14 points, and sharpshooter Kyle Korver got open from outside, hitting 5-of-7 shots (3-of-4 from 3-point range).
Korver’s three with 1:01 remaining in the half cut the Pacers’ lead to 52-49, but Indiana closed the half on a 5-0 run to push the lead back to eight.
The Hawks shot 64 percent in the third quarter, but the Pacers forced Atlanta into eight turnovers and converted those mistakes into 15 points on the other end to maintain a healthy lead. George and David West combined for 17 points in the period as Indiana outscored Atlanta 30-26 and took a 12-point lead into the final 12 minutes.
The Pacers’ bench did its job at the start of the fourth quarter, maintaining a double-digit advantage and even extending it to as many as 19. No Pacers starter saw any action in the fourth other than Lance Stephenson, who played the first 5:20.
That rest could prove invaluable on Wednesday night, when the Pacers will travel to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves in the second game of a back-to-back.
Inside the Numbers
After starting the game 6-for-6, George went 2-for-12 the rest of the way, but both of his makes came from beyond the arc. The Pacers’ other All-Star, Roy Hibbert, contributed 10 points.
Both members of the Pacers’ starting backcourt, George Hill and Lance Stephenson, dished out seven assists. Stephenson scored 13 points, while Hill added nine on 4-for-4 shooting.
The Hawks converted 12-of-26 3-pointers (46 percent), led by Korver, who went 5-for-7 from long range. Korver scored a team-high 19 points, while Williams added 18. Five Hawks scored in double figures, with Mike Scott adding 13, Cartier Martin contributing 12, and Shelvin Mack chipping in 11.
Both teams got solid production from their benches. Atlanta’s second unit scored 52 points. Indiana’s reserves contributed 33 points, 25 coming in the second half.
"We started the season 9-0 and 16-1. We understood the dog days would be a grind. Now that’s behind us. We want to start the second half as we did the first half.” - Frank Vogel
“Right now what we need to do is we need to play better in longer stretches. Sometimes it’s how we start the game, it isn’t where we want it to be and how we want to start. Other times, it’s different periods in the game but I think our group battled despite the poor start.” - Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer
“Once we start sharing the ball and getting everybody involved, we’re a tough team to beat. As long as we continue to do that I think everyone will have great shots and will shoot high percentages.” - George Hill
“I thought we did a good job just coming out and hitting first. We were able to build a pretty good lead. They made a good run in the second quarter. But we maintained control of the game for the most part." - David West
“I felt well today and I think the team played well. We made a couple things better than we were (just before the all-star break). That’s encouraging. But we have to be cautious too. The consistency of doing it every day is what we’re looking for. If you want to make it to the Finals and win a ring, you have to do it a lot of times. You have to do it every day. That’s what we’re looking for, we’re looking for the consistency.” - Luis Scola
Stat of the Game
The Pacers scored a season-high 35 points off of 22 Hawks turnovers.
- The Pacers are now 9-0 this season when playing on a Tuesday.
- With 23 assists on the night, the Pacers improved to 28-2 when accumulating 20 or more assists.
- Korver extended his NBA-record streak of consecutive games with at least one made 3-pointer to 121.
- Orlando Johnson, recalled from the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League after the All-Star break, was active and played 1:27, missing his only shot attempt.
- Andrew Bynum and Solomon Hill were inactive for the Pacers.
The Pacers head to Minnesota, where they'll take on the Timberwolves Wednesday night in a nationally-televised matchup at 8:00 p.m. EST. Game Preview »