Tuesday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 101, Hawks 85, Game 2
Pacers.com Staff | April 22, 2014
After two days of trying to diagnose the problems in their Game 1 loss, the Pacers made a few changes but mostly stayed the course and got back to playing the way they did in the first 40 games of the season.
They bodied up on guys, wore them down, played with an attitude and received a big night from Paul George, among others. The Pacers were the aggressors in the second half and mustered up a 32-6 run, including 19 straight in the third quarter, rolling past the Hawks 101-85 to knot their first round series at a game apiece before heading to Atlanta for Games 3 and 4 on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel was coy about changes heading into Game 2, only saying, “Maybe. We’ll see.” Well, from the outset, Paul George lined up on Jeff Teague, who dropped 28 points in Game 1 on Saturday. He kept him to 14, including just two in the second half. Also, David West checked center Pero Antic, allowing Roy Hibbert to hover around the rim.
The Pacers scored seven straight to open the game with Hibbert getting things started with a left-handed layup. But Atlanta was on target for much of the quarter, making 10 of 14 after missing their first five attempts. After one quarter of play, the Hawks had a five-point cushion.
Luis Scola was the spark the Pacers needed to gain some positive momentum. He scored on three straight possessions and accounted for 11 of the team’s first 13 points. Down 11, the Pacers answered with a 10-2 spurt led by Scola, of course. The Hawks remained hot from deep, hitting eight of their 16 tries over the first 24 minutes — and Kyle Korver, the league’s most accurate 3-point shooter this season, didn’t attempt a shot. Led by 13 points and five rebounds from Scola, the Pacers’ deficit was just four, 52-48, at the break.
As they analyzed the first half in the locker room, the Pacers were reminded of Game 1, where they were all even before the Hawks went scored 14 straight points in the third. They didn’t want that to happen again, but they wanted to be dialed in and return the favor.
The key for Indiana is their defense, which was the NBA’s best during the regular season despite slugging their way through the final 30 games. The third period reminiscent of their early success. In fact, it was their most efficient quarter of the season – they shot 75 percent – that helped them get back on track. An aggressive George Hill came alive for 10 points after a scoreless first half. That caused Teague to expend energy trying to keep Hill in front of him.
George beat the third-quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer at the top of the key, which sent the bench on their feet and to the other end of the floor to celebrate like the game was over. That moment of togetherness could potentially be a turning point in this series. The Pacers held the Hawks to just five field goals and outscored them 31-13 in the third stanza, and thus turned a four-point hole into a 14-point advantage.
Indiana continued to have their way, advancing their run to 38-8 and leading by as many as 27 points. Atlanta emptied its bench down 25 with 6:58 remaining and the Pacers’ assertiveness guided them to a 16-point home win.
Inside the Numbers
Paul George had an outstanding game, posting his second consecutive double-double. He finished with a game-high 27 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals in 39 minutes of work. George Hill tallied 15 points, all coming in the second half. David West had eight points and dished out a playoff career-best six assists.
Luis Scola had 20 points (on 9-of-14 shooting), his second game this season with at least 20, and seven rebounds. It is his highest output as a Pacer off the bench and four points shy of his playoff career-high set in 2009 with Houston. C.J. Watson hit two 3-pointers and contributed 10 points.
Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 19 points. Jeff Teague had 14, but only two after intermission. Atlanta’s other three starters — Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll and Pero Antic — combined for 13 points on 5-of-19 shooting.
During the Pacers’ 19-0 run, the Hawks missed 12 straight shots and were scoreless for 6:30 of game time.
The Pacers assisted on 25 of 36 field goals (69 percent), including 14 of 17 in the first half.
“I thought our energy was great. Our willingness to share the basketball was great. Our willingness to run was great. Just the scrambling mentality on the defensive end I thought was the biggest factor.” – Frank Vogel
“To get that kind of production from our bench is what we need to go on the kind of run that we want to go on. They were certainly special tonight. We’re going to need them every game in the series.” – Frank Vogel
“We put our print on this game in the third quarter, which we’ve done in November, December and January. We got back to that. I thought we did a great job of really just locking in, coming out in the second half, on what we need to do.” – Paul George
“The approach we had for the game, the way we played, the energy we played [with], it changed dramatically versus Game 1. When you play hard, when you play with energy, everything works and everything is better. The shots fall, the loose balls go to your side and the calls go to your side.” – Luis Scola
“We are at our best when everyone is smiling and everyone is playing for each other and just being aggressive out there. I could sense that tonight was one of those fun, aggressive nights.” – George Hill
“We were in a must-win situation. We had to play with a certainly level of desperation. We just got active with our voices and our hands.” – David West on the third quarter
Stat of the Game
The Hawks shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, but were held to 29 percent (12-of-41) over the final two quarters.
- The Pacers have won four straight Game 2s after losing Game 1.
- In the stands: Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis of the Colts and 2013 Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Atlanta at 7 p.m ET. Game Preview »