Game Rewind: Pacers 81, Hawks 73, Game 6
Friday, May 3rd, 2013 at 7:00 PM EDT at Philips Arena
Game Rewind: Pacers 81, Hawks 73, Game 6
Scott Agness | May 3, 2013
The Indiana Pacers got back to what got them 49 regular season wins, a Central Division title and the third seed in the Eastern Conference: defense and rebounding. Those two elements were critical factors for the team Friday night when they held off a late charge by the Atlanta Hawks. Their 81-73 victory snapped a 13-game losing streak in Philips Arena, but more importantly, it wrapped up the series to propel them into the second round of the playoffs for the second year in a row.
Indiana had a 15-point cushion entering the fourth quarter, but the Hawks didn’t give up without a fighting. They used a 21-7 run to cut the deficit to three points with 2:41 remaining. The Pacers got five straight stops and the Hawks didn’t score again.
So just how did the Pacers take care of business?
They did it with stout defense, holding the Hawks to 33 percent shooting in both Games 5 and 6 after allowing them to shoot 47 percent through the first four games.
They did it by not letting the Hawks play their preferred style of play and get out on the break. The Hawks scored just four points in transition in the decisive Game 6.
And, they did it by having their two most experienced guys, David West and George Hill, come up big. Those two set the tone in the second half Friday night and they finished with 21 points each.
Atlanta’s first three buckets in the game came behind the arc. They wouldn’t hit another one in the game, finishing 3-of-19 from long range.
Poor shooting plagued Atlanta all game long. They took a 17-13 lead with 3:04 remaining in the first quarter, but would make just two more shots the rest of the half. After a timeout, the Pacers limited their turnovers and went on a 14-5 spurt. Despite going 1-for-15 from the field in the second period, the Hawks buried seven free throws and trailed by eight at the break, 37-29.
Out of the locker room, the Pacers played with the urgency they said at shootaround they needed to wrap this series up. David West hit a couple of jumpers, then assisted on a George Hill 3-pointer. A goaltending call on Roy Hibbert ended a run of 17 missed shots by the Hawks. Indiana’s lead swelled to 19 early into the third. West and Hill played with a look like they were ready to end the series, and combined to score 22 of the Pacers’ 28 points in the quarter.
When the Hawks trimmed the Pacers’ lead to three, 76-73, the Pacers elevated their defensive play and didn’t allow another point. Lance Stephenson, who rolled his ankle early in the fourth period but later returned, striped the ball from Jeff Teague and then contested a Kyle Korver miss on back-to-back possessions. Then, West and Paul George each got their hand on the next two shots fired up by the Hawks. Stephenson, West, and Roy Hibbert each hit 1-of-2 foul shots and the Pacers won by eight to take the series 4-2.
Inside the Numbers
David West (21 points, eight rebounds, four blocks) and George Hill (21 points, seven rebounds) guided the Pacers to victory. With 17 points and 11 rebounds, Roy Hibbert recorded his first double-double this postseason. Lance Stephenson grabbed 11 rebounds, one shy of his career-high set (12) set in Game 5. He also contributed eight points and six assists.
Paul George was limited offensively, going 2-of-10 from the floor and not hitting a shot in the second half. He only had four points but he defended Josh Smith most of the way, pulled in seven rebounds, and had seven dimes.
Five Atlanta players finished in double figures, led by 15 from Al Horford. Josh Smith had 14 points and nine rebounds. The backcourt of Devin Harris and Jeff Teague chipped in 14 and 10, respectively. Kyle Korver was 0-for-7 from deep, but he totaled 12 points – six coming from the foul line.
Again, the Pacers owned the paint. They outscored the Hawks 42-30 and were +18 on the glass.
“I’m very proud of our guys to come in here – a tough place to win, particularly tough place for us to win – it’s good to end that streak but more importantly, it’s good to advance.” – Frank Vogel
“When you make the right adjustments with your rotations, your matchups and your schemes, and then you bring a mentality that you have to win every single possession, then you see what you saw in the last two games what we were able to do defensively.” – Frank Vogel
“We needed to guard the three, we needed to guard them on the break, and we needed to limit them to one shot. This is our best game of the series in doing those three things.” – Frank Vogel
“I just thought we made them a bit uncomfortable, especially more uncomfortable than they were in those two games previously down here. We made them finish through us, over us and I thought they had to use more energy than they had in previous games to score.” – David West
“We finally got the monkey off our back in this building. It felt good tonight. We were more physical tonight and made them take tough shots around us. We capitalized on the offensive end and made some shots, trying to get to the paint, and playing inside out. We’re happy but we have to get our hard hats back on, as we have another game in less than 48 hours.” – George Hill
“You have to give Indiana credit. They’re a tough team. They’re really good defensively. They’re really big. They put you in a lot of tough situations because their bigs do a phenomenal job in deep post position.” – Hawks coach Larry Drew
Stat of the Game
The Hawks’ first three buckets in the game came from behind the arc. They wouldn’t hit another one in the game and finished 3-of-19 from long range.
- Indiana is 14-10 vs. Atlanta in the playoffs all-time. The blue and gold have won three of the five series’ that they’ve met.
- On the road with a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven series, the Pacers have now won all four times in franchise history.
- Jeff Pendergraph and Ivan Johnson both were given technical fouls at separate points in the game.
- In an effort to change things up, the Pacers wore their gold uniforms for the first time this postseason.
The Pacers will go directly to New York and open the second round of the playoffs against the Knicks on Sunday.
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