Monday, April 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 97, Hawks 107, Game 5
Scott Agness | April 28, 2014
The Pacers were back home in front of their home crowd Monday night, seeking to become the first team in this best-of-seven first round series to win consecutive games. They won three of the quarters, but got burned by a hot-shooting Atlanta Hawks team in a 107-97 loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Hawks have moved ahead 3-2 in the series, with Game 6 in their house on Thursday night.
In a costly second quarter which proved too much for the Pacers to overcome, the Hawks made 13-of-16 shots from the field, including 9-of-11 from 3-point range. Indiana was outscored 41-19, and nearly got topped solely by reserve Mike Scott. He made all six of his shots, five coming from outside, scoring all of his playoff career-high 17 points in the period.
The Hawks scored 13 unanswered to open the second frame and used a 28-6 run to pull ahead by 20-plus. As the Pacers went to the locker room searching for answers, they were down 61-40 and had just two points off their bench compared to the Hawks’ 34.
Things got worse for the Pacers before they found success. Both Lance Stephenson and Frank Vogel received technical fouls in the third quarter as Atlanta's lead stretched to 30. Later in the period, C.J. Watson and George Hill drilled back-to-back triples, followed by a dunk from Paul George and a layup by David West. That 10-0 run chipped away at the Hawks’ lead, which was 20 entering the fourth.
The Pacers' success came when coach Frank Vogel sent the rarely used Chris Copeland off his bench. Though he admittedly struggled to find an early rhythm and missed his first five shots, he then nailed consecutives threes. Watson, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the final frame, also provided Indiana with a lift. First, it was a steal and a layup, part of an 18-5 run. Then, he drilled a couple 3-pointers of his own.
Montieth: Pacers Find Answers for Game 6?
With 4:04 remaining, Watson scored a layup off a block by Copeland at the other end, which cut the lead to nine points. However, Kyle Korver answered with an outside shot, one of five he hit on the night. The Pacers managed to get as close as eight points, but couldn't complete the comeback. They missed on numerous lay-ins at the baskets as well as seven missed free throws, which allowed the Hawks to maintain their distance.
The Pacers now have two days between games, ahead of what is truly a must-win Game 6 in Atlanta on Thursday night. Vogel says he’ll “consider anything at this point,” in terms of rotations. There’s a very good chance they’ll play smaller, as they did while finding success over the final 17 minutes.
Inside the Numbers
Paul George recorded his fifth consecutive double-double in the series, and finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, and a playoff career-high six steals. He’s the first player with those numbers or better in a playoff game since Michael Jordan in 1989 (via Basketball Reference).
David West, Lance Stephenson, and George Hill each contributed 16 points and C.J. Watson added 15 off the pine. Roy Hibbert failed to record a point or a rebound in a playoff game for the first time in his career.
Six Hawks players finished with 12 points or more. Former Butler University standout Shelvin Mack led the Hawks with a playoff career-best 20 points, eight scored at the foul line. Paul Millsap scored 18 and Kyle Korver, who was 5-of-10 from deep, chipped in 16.
The Hawks were extremely efficient beyond the arc. Their 27 3-point attempts are the fewest they’ve attempted in the series, but they made a franchise single-game record 15. That’s also the most by an Indiana opponent in its franchise history.
Atlanta’s bench, primarily consisting of Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack, contributed 30 points in the second quarter and outscored Indiana’s for the game, 45-23.
The Pacers were also strong from 3-point land. They made a playoff franchise-best 14 shots, with six coming in the fourth quarter.
Atlanta’s 41 second-quarter points were the most of given up by Indiana in any quarter this season and the second-most allowed in a quarter in franchise playoff history.
“Too much for us to overcome. I was proud of our effort in fighting back but we just fell short. The biggest difference obviously was the 3-point line early, their ability to run on us, take advantage of their speed and then the free throw line. We got to play these guys without fouling and putting them to the line too much.” – Frank Vogel
“We didn’t have any urgency. Everybody’s got to be ready to play. We’re fighting for our lvies. It’s just really disappointing.” – David West on defending the 3-point line
“They played great. With the spread-4 and the spread-5, they hit big shots. We just never responded.” – Lance Stephenson on the Hawks’ second quarter
“I just told my guys don’t even look at the scoreboard. We just got to chip away. Don’t worry about what the score is, just chip away. Get stops on the defensive end and offensively get shot attempts — period.” – Paul George on their mindset after getting down 30
“It’s a long series. It’s a long series. One game at a time. We got to go down and steal one, and be the team to win two in a row.” – Paul George on the mood of the team
Stat of the Game
The Hawks received ample opportunities at the free throw line, and went 26-of-33. The Pacers, meanwhile, hit on 11-of-18 tries — a difference of 15 points.
- The Pacers are 0-10 all-time in a best-of-seven series in which they’ve trailed 3-2. Meantime, the Hawks are 4-1 all-time when leading 3-2.
Game 6 is Thursday, May 1 in Atlanta at 7 p.m EDT.