Pacers at Hawks

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Practice: McMillan on Atlanta, Robinson III

March 4, 2017 - After practice, Pacers head coach Nate McMillan discussed facing the Atlanta Hawks, as well as the confidence of Glenn Robinson III.

Pregame 170305

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Practice: McMillan on Atlanta, Robinson III

March 4, 2017 - After practice, Pacers head coach Nate McMillan discussed facing the Atlanta Hawks, as well as the confidence of Glenn Robinson III.
Mar 4, 2017  |  02:22

Paul George on Teammates Wearing PG1s, Upcoming Schedule

March 3, 2017 - Paul George talks about gifting pairs of his new signature shoe to his teammates and looks ahead to a key stretch in the Pacers' schedule.
Mar 3, 2017  |  03:31

Practice: McMillan on Gym Time, Thad Young

March 3, 2017 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan spoke to the media about taking advantage of the team's remaining practices, as well as the play of forward Thaddeus Young.
Mar 3, 2017  |  01:46

Practice: Christmas on Joining the Rotation

March 3, 2017 - Pacers forward Rakeem Christmas speaks with the media about getting his first real opportunity to play meaningful minutes and his development in the D-League with the Mad Ants.
Mar 3, 2017  |  01:55

Thaddeus Young on the New PG1s

March 3, 2017 - After Paul George ordered pairs of his new signature shoe, the PG1, for all his teammates, Pacers forward Thaddeus Young decide to give his best sales pitch for the new kicks.
Mar 3, 2017  |  02:27

Game Preview: Pacers at Hawks

Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 1:00 PM ET at Philips Arena
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Last Updated: March 3 at 9:45 PM

Matchup

The Indiana Pacers came oh-so close to pulling off a wildly impressive two-step over the last few days, but instead had to settle for splitting a pair of games with two of the top three teams in the Western Conference. After rallying from an early hole to win in Houston Monday, the Pacers went toe-to-toe with the Spurs on Wednesday in San Antonio before falling in the final seconds.

The Pacers had a one-point lead and Monta Ellis at the free throw line with nine seconds left, but Ellis missed both foul shots. The Spurs corralled the rebound and drew up a play for All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard, who knocked down a fadeaway jumper over Paul George with 2.4 seconds left for the go-ahead basket (replays showed that Leonard appeared to get away with traveling on the play). George had a chance to win the game on the other end, but his 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out, handing the Pacers a gut-wrenching loss.

In the midst of a five-game road trip, the Pacers (31-30) have a chance to rest and regroup thanks to a rare quirk in the schedule that gives them three full days off between games. The team actually returned to Indianapolis after Wednesday night's game and the players will be able to enjoy a few nights sleeping in their own beds before they head back out for games at Atlanta on Sunday afternoon and in Charlotte on Monday night.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »

With the playoff race heating up, Sunday's contest against the Hawks could have major postseason implications. The Hawks (34-27) are currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, directly ahead of the Pacers in the standings. Indiana is three games back of Atlanta in the loss column, but could trim the gap this weekend.

A Pacers win on Sunday would keep Indiana's chances of catching the Hawks within reason. A Hawks win, however, would make it a much more difficult task. The two teams only play three times this season and Atlanta won the first meeting on Nov. 23, meaning another win would give Atlanta the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Pacers.

The Pacers' most difficult task on Sunday will be figuring out a way to keep Atlanta's frontcourt in check. The Hawks dominated the interior against the Blue & Gold in November, outrebounding Indiana 56-37 (17-7 on the offensive glass) and outscoring the Blue & Gold 48-34 in the paint. All-Star forward Paul Millsap (18 points and 11 rebounds) and former All-NBA center Dwight Howard (23 points and 21 rebounds) both had double-doubles in the victory.

Don't be surprised if the Pacers pack the paint on Sunday and force the Hawks to beat them from the perimeter. As of Thursday morning, Atlanta is shooting just 34 percent on the season from 3-point range, the sixth-worst percentage in the NBA.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Jeff Teague, SG - Paul George, SF - C.J. Miles, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Hawks: PG - Dennis Schröder, SG - Kent Bazemore, SF - Thabo Sefolosha, PF - Paul Millsap, C - Dwight Howard

Injury Report

Pacers: Lavoy Allen - out (sore left knee)

Hawks: Mike Dunleavy - out (right ankle soreness)

Last Meeting

November 23, 2016: Dwight Howard dominated the interior, leading the Hawks to a 96-85 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Howard finished with 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting and 21 rebounds (nine of them offensive) in the victory.

Atlanta led by as many as 17 points in the first half before the Pacers rallied to cut the deficit to one late in the third quarter. The Hawks then reeled off a 19-2 run that effectively put the game on ice.

Thaddeus Young led Indiana with 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting and seven rebounds. Monta Ellis added 19 points. Paul George scored 18, but had a rough night shooting, going 6-for-22 from the field and 2-for-11 from 3-point range.

Noteworthy

  • Atlanta leads the all-time series with the Pacers 100-81, including a 63-26 advantage at home.
  • The Pacers have dropped four straight regular season games in Atlanta and 15 of their last 16 dating all the way back to the 2007-08 season.
  • Indiana is 5-0 on the season when playing on a Sunday.
  • Pacers forward Glenn Robinson III and Hawks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. were teammates on the 2012-13 Michigan Wolverines team that reached the championship game of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Tickets

Following their five-game road trip, the Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday, March 8 for a meeting with a Central Division foe, the Detroit Pistons, at 8:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)

Away Game Night Special

Retro Crew Fleece - $25. Game Night Specials can be purchased online the day of each away game from 10:00 AM - Midnight. Order Online »

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