Pacers vs Hawks

GAME RECAP: Pacers 116, Hawks 93

Domantas Sabonis comes off the bench to lead all scoring with 21 points as the Pacers get the win, 116-93.

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GAME RECAP: Pacers 116, Hawks 93

Domantas Sabonis comes off the bench to lead all scoring with 21 points as the Pacers get the win, 116-93.
Feb 23, 2018  |  00:01

Joseph's Steal and Score

Feb. 23, 2018 - Cory Joseph intercepts a pass and then converts a basket plus the foul, leading his teammates to sprint to him in celebration.
Feb 24, 2018  |  03:45

GRIII Checks in for the First Time This Season

February 23, 2018: Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Feb 23, 2018  |  01:10

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Feb. 23, 2018

February 23, 2018 - Pacers players Victor Oladipo, Glenn Robinson III, Thad Young, and Domantas Sabonis discussed Indiana's 116-93 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Feb 23, 2018  |  03:44

Vic's Fancy Flick

February 23, 2018: Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Feb 23, 2018  |  02:47

Postgame: McMillan Press Conference - Feb. 23, 2018

February 23, 2018 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan spoke to the media following Indiana's 116-93 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Feb 23, 2018  |  06:54

Robinson Nets His First Points of the Season

February 23, 2018: Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Feb 23, 2018  |  01:28

Lance with the Sauce and Bucket

February 23, 2018: Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Feb 23, 2018  |  03:04

Vic Drills a Three

February 23, 2018: Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Feb 23, 2018  |  02:25

Glenn Dishes to Thad

February 23, 2018: Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Feb 23, 2018  |  01:40

Bojan Breakaway Jam

February 23, 2018: Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Feb 23, 2018  |  00:33

Bojan Kicks to Myles for Three

February 23, 2018: Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Feb 23, 2018  |  00:19

Postgame: Hawks Locker Room - Feb. 23, 2018

February 23, 2018 - The Indiana Pacers defeated the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, 116-93. Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer, guard Kent Bazemore, and guard Dennis Schroder discuss the loss.
Feb 23, 2018  |  02:38

Game Rewind: Pacers 116, Hawks 93

Friday, February 23, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Game Recap

Coming out of the All-Star break, Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said earlier this week that he wanted his team to "start strong" as they embark on the final 24 games of the regular season. They did just that on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, racing to a 116-93 victory over the cellar-dwelling Atlanta Hawks.

Domantas Sabonis recorded a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Thaddeus Young added 20 points and five steals as Indiana (34-25) cruised to a win over the Hawks (18-42), who own the worst record in the NBA.

The Pacers showed little rust early despite the eight-day break, scoring the game's first five points and extending their lead to as many as eight points in the opening minutes. Thaddeus Young scored 10 of Indiana's first 19 points, knocking down 4-of-6 shots (2-of-3 from 3-point range) to ignite the offense.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »

The highlight of the night came with 3:51 remaining in the first quarter, when Glenn Robinson III checked in for the first time this season. Robinson missed the first 58 games this year after undergoing surgery to repair a left ankle injury he sustained in training camp, but returned to practice in recent weeks, even playing in two rehabilitation games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA G League.

When he stepped onto the floor on Friday, Robinson received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd at The Fieldhouse, with teammates like Victor Oladipo motioning to the fans to cheer even louder.

"It was amazing," Robinson said. "To be out there for the first time, put on that jersey again for the first time this year, it means a lot. Especially with what I've been through these past four-five months, having to start over walking again."

After missing his first attempt long, Robinson scored his first points of the season with 1:09 left in the opening period, using a head fake to make Isaiah Taylor fly by him, then stepping confidently into a midrange jumper.

"We've always said that he's an integral part of our team and what we do," Young said. "It's just a matter of working him back in. He's done a hell of job just getting himself back ready to get into playing condition."

The Blue & Gold led 27-22 after the first quarter and quickly padded their lead in the second, using a 13-1 run to open up a 14-point advantage and took a 61-44 lead into halftime.

Despite making just 8-of-25 shots in the third quarter, Indiana did not lose any ground in the frame. In fact, the Pacers extended their lead to as many as 23 points in the period and led 83-66 entering the fourth quarter.

Atlanta opened the final period with a 7-3 run to make it a 13-point game, but the Pacers immediately answered with seven unanswered points (five from Sabonis) to thwart the threat.

One particular sequence stood out down the stretch as the Pacers put the finishing touches on their fourth straight win. With 5:15 left in the game, Cory Joseph intercepted DeAndre' Bembry's pass in the backcourt, then converted a tough layup despite a hard foul from Bembry.

In unison, Joseph's four teammates (Oladipo, Sabonis, Young, and Lance Stephenson) raced the length of the court side-by-side to pick Joseph up and celebrate with him on the baseline.

"At the end of the day, we need each other," Oladipo said. "That just shows you right there what kind of men we are in this locker room, how special the locker room is.

"We didn't even know each other (was) doing that. We just (saw) Cory on the ground and when somebody's on the ground, you've got to help him up. This is a family. We're in unison. We're in this together. Cory made a great play, an and-one — we're going to rush over there and help him up. It's like no man down. You leave no man to die, and that's the mentality we've got."

Six Pacers players scored in double figures on the night.

Oladipo struggled from the field (5-for-16), but still flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 14 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, and four steals.

"I had to find other ways to impact the game," Oladipo said. "Especially if my shot isn't falling or they're in paint so it was a little difficult to get to the rim. Just getting people involved, drawing two defenders, and making the right play."

Stephenson also stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Joseph added 15 points, while Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 12.

Robinson played 18 minutes off the bench, scoring four points on 2-of-6 shooting while also collecting two rebounds and one assist.

Taylor led Atlanta with 17 points and six assists in the loss, while Taurean Prince added 14 points and seven rebounds.

The Pacers will now embark on a four-game road trip, which begins Monday and includes stops in Dallas, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Washington.

Inside the Numbers

Indiana had 17 steals in the win, matching their season high and the most by a team in any NBA game this season. Young had five steals, while both Oladipo and Joseph had four. Joseph tied his career high, a mark he had reached four times in previous seasons.

The Pacers set a new season high with 57 rebounds in the win, eclipsing their previous best of 54 in a win over the Knicks on Feb. 11. They outrebounded Atlanta by 17 on the night, including a 15-6 advantage on the offensive glass.

Sabonis' double-double was his 13th of the season, most on the team.

Stephenson set a season high with eight assists, two more than his previous best of six, which he reached four times this season.

Taylor set new career highs for both points and assists in the loss.

You Can Quote Me On That

"I thought he looked okay out there. I wanted to give him maybe five minutes in the first half and maybe five minutes in the second. The lineup when he was in there, they got a run going, and he looked okay." -McMillan on playing Robinson for 19 minutes in his first game back

"I've got great teammates around me and a great coaching staff who believe in me and who really just want to see me out there so bad and were just as excited as I was. I think everybody in this locker room was excited and happy for me." -Robinson

"It was very exciting. I think everybody has missed each other. We came back, Glenn was back, everybody was just happy Glenn was back. I think that just had extra adrenaline and emotion for us. We were just happy we got the win." -Sabonis

"A lot of credit to Indiana. The way they play is impressive. Their aggressiveness on the boards, obviously a huge disparity there. They're running you in transition, so it's a little bit of a unique combination to be that good on the boards and that good in transition." -Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer

Stat of the Night

With Friday's win, the Pacers are now 21-11 at home this season and have clinched a winning record at home for the 29th consecutive season — the longest active streak in the NBA. Only three teams have ever had longer streaks: the Suns (34 season from 1969-2003), Lakers (32 seasons from 1960-92), and the Trail Blazers (31 seasons from 1973-2004).

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won four straight games against the Hawks, including two wins this season. The two teams play again in Atlanta on Feb. 28 and in Indianapolis on March 9.
  • Trey McKinney Jones, signed to a 10-day contract on Wednesday, made his NBA debut on Friday, playing the final 1:14 of the fourth quarter.
  • The Hawks did not play normal starting forward Ersan Ilyasova, as they reportedly are discussing a buyout of his contract.

Up Next

The Pacers travel to Dallas to take on Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks on Monday, Feb. 26 at 8:30 PM ET.

Tickets

After a four-game road trip, the Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday, March 5 to host the Giannis Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee Bucks at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »