Rewind: Pacers vs. Hawks 120208


Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Atlanta

Game Rewind: Hawks 97, Pacers 87


Josh Smith scored 28 points and Joe Johnson 20 as the Hawks built a 21-point first-half lead and held off a couple of charges by the visiting Pacers for a 97-87 victory over Indiana Tuesday.

The Pacers got as close as 75-69 late in the third quarter and were down 87-80 in the fourth but ran out of steam as the Hawks pulled away.

It was the ninth straight loss in Atlanta for the Pacers (17-8), whose lead over the Hawks (17-9) in the Eastern Conference standings was cut to one game.


Danny Granger led the Pacers with 21 points but he again struggled with his shot, going 5-of-17 from the field. David West scored 15 with six rebounds, Tyler Hansbrough had 15 off the bench and Roy Hibbert had his 11th double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. The Pacers shot 44 percent and were outrebounded 45-33.

Smith made 11-of-17 shots, adding 12 rebounds and five steals to his 28 points. Johnson shot 8-of-23 but added eight assists and six rebounds to his 20. The Hawks got a big lift off the bench from Kirk Hinrich, who scored a season-high 17 on 7-of-9 shooting, and Tracy McGrady, who scored 13 and made 4 of 6 shots. Atlanta shot 46 percent and had 24 assists in 35 field goals.


"Give Atlanta a lot of credit. They came out, obviously having lost three in a row, with a tremendous edge and took the fight to us in the first half." - Pacers Coach Frank Vogel

"We fought like dogs in the second half to come back and compete and make it a game, but they were too much. Their starting lineup, Josh Smith and Joe Johnson, were too much. And obviously Hinrich and Tracy McGrady scoring 30 points off the bench gave them a tremendous lift. You're not going to win games giving up 28 fast-break points, period." - Vogel


The Hawks racked up 28 fast-break points, the most allowed by the Pacers this season. In fact, they had more had more by halftime (21) than the Pacers had surrendered (20).


Using a devastating transition game, the Hawks thoroughly dominated the first half, racking up 59 points -- the second-highest total against the Pacers this season -- while shooting 55 percent. With Johnson (16), Smith (13) and Hinrich (11 off the bench) all hot, the Hawks used an 18-2 run in the first quarter to open a 28-12 lead, and then an 18-4 run in the second quarter to push the advantage to 55-34. And the emphasis was on run, as the Hawks rolled up 21 fast-break points.

The Pacers opened the third quarter with a 13-4 run to cut the deficit in half as Granger and West came out hot but the Hawks pushed the advantage back to 75-62. Hansbrough then sparked a seven-point surge that made it 75-69 but that's as close as the Pacers would get.

They were still in the game into the fourth quarter, down 87-80 after Dahntay Jones' jumper with 8:27 remaining but the offense ran dry, producing just three more buckets as the Hawks pulled away.


Lou Amundson and McGrady exchanged words under the Indiana basket late in the third quarter, with both players earning technical fouls. … Jeff Teague took a hard fall on a drive early in the second quarter when Atlanta teammate Ivan Johnson hip-checked Tyler Hansbrough into his path. Teague remained in the game and Johnson was given a technical foul. … Jeff Foster missed his 13th straight game with a sore lower back. He will be re-evaluated Thursday in hopes he can return soon. … George Hill missed his fifth in a row with a chip fracture in his left ankle. … The Hawks were without starting center Al Horford, who sustained a torn left pectoral muscle when the teams met Jan. 11 in Indianapolis, and backup Jason Collins (sprained left elbow).


The Pacers head to Memphis to face Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and the Grizzlies Friday (8 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). The Grizzlies (13-13) snapped a three-game losing streak with an 85-80 victory over Memphis Wednesday night, and are 8-4 at home. The Pacers have dropped four in a row to the Grizzlies, the last three in Memphis.


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