TROY MURPHY
Racked up a game-high 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting, adding six rebounds and a blocked shot.
RICK CARLISLE
"It's been a struggle. It's been a brutal stretch of schedule. Key injuries have contributed to it. But during the whole thing, there were maybe a couple of times where we hung our head. We've been playing, we've been trying. Tonight was a big step in the right direction but the brutal schedule continues. They're just about all playoff teams until the end."
Points in the Paint:
Hawks 46, Pacers 42
Fast-break points:
Pacers 17, Hawks 6
2nd-chance points:
Hawks 24, Pacers 6
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 29, Hawks 10
Starters scoring:
Pacers 77, Hawks 55
Bench scoring:
Pacers 36, Hawks 35
Jamaal Tinsley had 14 assists and did not commit a turnover in 28 minutes.
A Texas two-step begins Tuesday in Houston against Yao Ming and the Rockets (9:30 p.m., TNT).
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  • INDIANA 113, ATLANTA 90
    Pacers Enjoy Pluck Of The Irish

    By Conrad Brunner | March 17, 2007


    Though the Pacers had lost 11 in a row and were struggling mightly coming into Saturday night's meeting with Atlanta, perhaps a little good fortune might've been expected.

    How could a team with players with good Gaelic names like Murphy (from Notre Dame, no less), Dunleavy, O'Neal, Murphy, McLeod and Greene – run by coach Carlisle and front office bosses Bird (a former Celtic) and Walsh – possibly lose on St. Patrick's Day?

    Playing with the pluck of the Irish, the Pacers pounded Atlanta from start to finish in a 113-90 rout that stopped their losing streak one short of the franchise record set in 1988-89.

    Indiana (30-35) moved past Orlando and New Jersey into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, ending a four-game home losing streak to improve to 19-14 at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Hawks (26-41) had kindled playoff hopes after a four-game win streak, but this was their second loss in a row overall and sixth straight at home, leaving them five games behind the Pacers.


    PLUSES

    The offense clicked from the outset, with Jamaal Tinsley (14 assists, zero turnovers) playing his best floor game in weeks. Troy Murphy (22) and Mike Dunleavy (21) combined to score 43 points and make 17-of-21 shots (81 percent). Danny Granger scored 19 with four rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Ike Diogu scored 15 on 6-of-7 shooting with four rebounds off the bench. Darrell Armstrong scored 11 with three assists and two steals. The Pacers won handily on a night when Jermaine O'Neal shot just 2-of-12, scoring 10 points with seven rebounds and two blocks. The Pacers shot 53.2 percent and had 27 assists against just 10 turnovers.
    MINUSES
    When a team takes a double-digit lead in the first quarter and maintains it throughout, there are really few negatives. The Hawks won the rebounding battle 42-34, with Josh Smith pulling11 and Josh Childress 10. Smith scored 16 and Zaza Pachulia 16 to lead the Hawks.
    MOMENTS
    The Pacers set the tone right away, making 13-of-19 shots and committing just two turnovers in building a 36-23 first-quarter lead. Dunleavy caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 12 as the Pacers pushed the margin into the 20s, taking a 68-44 lead into intermission after shooting 62.5 percent from the field and committing only four turnovers.

    The closest thing to a threat from Atlanta came at the start of the third period when the Hawks scored nine in a row while the Pacers missed eight straight shots, closing the gap to 68-53. But Granger and Dunleavy brought the offense back to life and the lead was rebuilt to 84-59.

    Atlanta's last gasp came in the form of an eight-point run bridging the third and fourth periods, cutting the lead to 84-67, but Diogu scored six in an 11-point counter that pushed it 95-67 and that was that.


    TIDBITS
  • The Pacers' 68 points in the first half were their most in any half this season, surpassing the 67 scored in the second half at Milwaukee on Nov. 18.
  • Maceo Baston played for the first time in eight games since suffering a dislocated toe.
  • Marquis Daniels missed his eighth game in a row and 16th in 20 with a sore left knee.
  • Jeff Foster (lower back spasms) and David Harrison (sore left shoulder) were unavailable on the inactive list.
  • The Hawks played their sixth in a row without leading score Joe Johnson (right calf contusion).