Tuesday, March 6 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Hawks 101, Pacers 96
By Conrad Brunner
For the longest time, Josh Smith was just about all the Atlanta Hawks had. When it mattered most, his teammates stepped forward.
Smith had a game-high 27 points but did not score in the final 16½ minutes. Instead, Jannero Pargo and Zaza Pachulia led the way, combining for 21 of Atlanta's final 32 points as the Hawks held off a late charge by the Pacers for a 101-96 win before 11,393 Tuesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
David West scored a season-high 24 points for the Pacers (23-14), who trailed 97-91 entering the final two minutes but closed to 97-96 on Danny Granger's driving three-point play with 23.1 seconds left. After Jerry Stackhouse made two free throws to push Atlanta's lead to three with 22.6 seconds remaining, the Pacers had a chance to play for the tie but Granger missed a quick 3-pointer and Marvin Williams closed it out at the line.
BY THE NUMBERS
West shot 10 of 13 for the Pacers, adding three rebounds to his 24 points. Granger scored 19 with eight rebounds and shot 6-of-17. George Hill scored 15 with six rebounds off the bench. Roy Hibbert had 13 points and eight rebounds and Paul George scored 11 with six rebounds for the Pacers.
Smith was 12-of-19, adding nine rebounds to his 27 points. Pargo scored 16 on 6-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-7 from the 3-point line. Pachulia had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Williams had 12 points with six boards.
"We didn’t defend the three well and didn’t do a good enough job on the defensive glass. It cost us the game. I don’t think we were ourselves the last two games." - Pacers Coach Frank Vogel
"If we don’t rebound well, we don’t win. We have to rebound better or we will lose a lot of games. We had trouble guarding some of their schemes out there tonight. And that kept them on a roll. Not taking anything from them, they played well." - Granger
"They kept us off balance with good ball movement and we couldn’t seem adjust to their schemes. We just weren’t able to figure them out in time to stop them. They made a lot of second shots and you can’t give those kinds of shots and win games. These are both contenders and teams that we could meet later. So we’ve got to improve on these, pack it up and move on to the next game." - West
"We need to give extra effort and work harder on the glass. We’ve got to keep teams from getting second shots on us, which means we must work harder in boxing out to keep these second shots from happening. We had shots in places and opportunities where it could have helped us. It didn’t work. We lost. We must go back to the drawing board, get things together and start over." - George
STAT OF THE GAME
The Pacers lost their sixth consecutive game against an opponent with a winning record.
The Hawks controlled most of the first half but the Pacers used a 17-9 advantage at the free-throw line to keep it close and trailed 58-54 at the break. Smith scored nine in a 21-6 run in the first quarter that put the Hawks up 25-15, and the Ivan Smith scored five in a 9-0 second-quarter run that pushed the Atlanta advantage to 40-24.
West banged away inside for eight points in a 12-4 counter that cut it to 47-40, and consecutive threes by Granger and Darren Collison sparked a 14-6 close that trimmed the deficit to four at the break. The Pacers shot 53 percent in the half but were outrebounded 24-16. The Hawks shot 52 percent as Smith scored 16 on 7 of 10 shooting.
Though Smith continued to score in the third period, the rest of the Hawks did not. He was the only Atlanta player to score in the first nine minutes as the Pacers put together a 16-7 run to take the lead 71-69 -- their first since the first quarter -- on West's lefty post-up with 3:21 left in the quarter. But Marvin Williams answered right back with a 3-pointer and the Hawks closed with seven in a row to take a 76-71 lead into the fourth quarter.
Pargo made three 3-pointers in the opening minutes of the quarter, then Pachulia had a pair of three-point plays as the Hawks led 95-87 with 5:20 remaining.
The Pacers were outrebounded for the second game in a row, 45-37, and outscored 15-9 on second-chance points. … Hill has averaged 14.0 points off the bench in the last three games. … The Pacers will be without Jeff Foster up to two weeks after the veteran center underwent another procedure to relieve pain in his lower back. With the March 15 trade deadline approaching, they may be on the lookout for another big body to complement Lou Amundson as the backup center. … The Hawks were without Joe Johnson (left knee tendinitis) and Willie Green (lower back spasms), both players missing their third straight games.
The gauntlet continues with a weekend back-to-back in Florida, beginning Saturday against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). Miami has routed the Pacers twice this season, 118-83 on Jan. 4 and 105-90 on Feb. 14. The Pacers then face Dwight Howard and the Magic Sunday in Orlando.