Game Rewind: Pacers 133, Hawks 126

Game Recap

Coming off a disheartening loss to Sacramento on Wednesday, the Pacers bounced back on Thursday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Six players — including all five starters — scored in double figures as Indiana (31-35) built a double-digit lead and held on down the stretch for a 133-126 win over the Atlanta Hawks (37-31).

Caris LeVert scored 31 points, including nine of the Pacers' last 11, and dished out 12 assists for his first double-double in a Pacers uniform.

"My teammates put me in position to be successful tonight," LeVert said. "My coaches trusted in me. I expect a lot out of myself and I know that last night it wasn't there. I just wanted to bounce back."

Domantas Sabonis added 30 points on 12-of-14 shooting (3-of-3 from 3-point range) to go along with eight rebounds and nine assists.

The Pacers took a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter, but John Collins scored seven points as the Hawks opened the final frame with a 12-2 run to climb within four, prompting a timeout from Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren.

Out of the timeout, T.J. McConnell turned it over and Collins converted a three-point play to make it a 112-111 game with 8:33 remaining. Sabonis, however, answered with a left-handed runner on the other end, the start of six straight points by the Pacers.

Bogdan Bogdanovic's 3-pointer made it 118-114 with six minutes remaining. Indiana answered as Sabonis and McConnell combined for the next four points before a Trae Young three and a Collins dunk made it a three-point game. Young later connected with Clint Capela for a dunk to climb within one with 3:06 to play.

LeVert hit a jumper with 2:17 remaining to push the lead back to three. Bogdanovic and Young each missed looks from beyond the arc to tie before LeVert provided some insurance, converting a fadeaway jumper while being knocked down by Kevin Huerter. The ensuing free throw pushed the lead to six.

Bogdanovic knocked down a trey on the other end to make it a one-possession game, but once again LeVert answered, this time shaking by Huerter for a jumper on the right baseline. After a timeout, Danilo Gallinari missed a 3-pointer that effectively ended the Hawks' comeback hopes.

"(The last week) gave us a chance to come together and really play for each other tonight and have a lot of fun doing it," LeVert said. "We all had fun tonight and we got a huge, huge win over a playoff team. That just shows us we can play with anybody."

The Pacers used a balanced attack to jump out to an early lead, as all five starters scored as Indiana opened Thursday's contest with a 17-10 surge. Sabonis scored 11 points in the opening frame, while LeVert added seven points and four assists.

The Blue & Gold stretched their lead to 13 thanks to a 10-2 run late in the frame before Onyeke Okongwu's three-point play made it a 36-26 contest entering the second quarter.

McConnell got it going in the ensuing quarter, connecting on his first six shots while scoring 13 of Indiana's first 22 points to open the frame.

Doug McDermott's baseline dunk off a dish from Sabonis pushed the lead to 64-47 with 4:48 remaining in the first half and forced a timeout from Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan. But the Hawks were unable to make significant headway before halftime, as the Pacers took a 72-58 lead into the intermission.

Sabonis scored the first nine points for the hosts after halftime. Oshae Brissett's dunk with 8:09 remaining pushed Indiana's lead to 85-68, but the Hawks came charging back with 11 unanswered points.

Young did his best to lead an Atlanta comeback, scoring 17 points in the third quarter alone. But LeVert scored nine straight for Indiana to keep the Hawks at bay and the Blue & Gold closed the frame with a 6-0 run to take a 110-96 lead into the fourth.

McConnell finished with 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting, five assists, and four steals in the victory. Aaron Holiday added 15 points and five assists, McDermott scored 13 points, and Brissett tallied 10 points and eight rebounds.

Young led the Hawks with 30 points and 10 assists in the loss. Bogdanovic added 28 points while going 6-for-10 from 3-point range and Collins tallied 25 points and seven rebounds.

The Pacers will wrap up a three-game homestand on Saturday, when they host the Wizards in a possible preview of the Play-In Tournament.

Inside the Numbers

LeVert topped 30 points for the fourth time this season, while Sabonis did it for the seventh time.

Indiana outscored the Hawks 70-58 in points in the paint.

Atlanta had a distinct advantage from beyond the 3-point arc, making 15 threes to the Pacers' eight.

Holiday scored in double figures for the fourth time in his last five contests.

McConnell, who entered the night second in the NBA in steals, had four more takeaways on Thursday. He now has three or more steals in 19 games this season.

You Can Quote Me On That

"It feels good. You have to enjoy the moments like that when you're playing basketball that way. We talked about it before the game with all of us here together on our team." -Bjorkgren

"It was a huge win. I think we were all a little embarrassed at what happened last night against the Kings, losing to them and didn't show much of a fight. But I think tonight we were really just connected and right from the get go we were ready to play. It was fun to be a part of." -McDermott

"We played easily the worst game of the season yesterday. And all the things circulating, I don't think this looks like a locker room that quit on their coach. We haven't and we won't. We love playing for him and we're going to continue and fight and do everything we can like we did tonight." -McConnell

"I'm just trying to pick my spots at the right time, especially when I'm out there playing point guard, trying to get other guys shots, trying to get guys in position. For the most part, I felt like I did that...My teammates knocked down a lot of shots tonight." -LeVert on his big night

"Caris got us some big buckets and we got some big stops. They have a lot of weapons on offense. We really locked in on both ends and really executed down the stretch." -McConnell

Stat of the Night

LeVert had his first game with 30 or more points and 10 or more assists on Thursday. His 12 assists were a season high and one shy of his career high.


  • The Pacers secured the season series with the Hawks on Thursday after the two teams split a pair of games in Atlanta earlier this season. The Hawks have not won the season series with Indiana since 2014-15.
  • Indiana has won seven straight games against Atlanta at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
  • The Pacers are 10-5 on the season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

Up Next

The Pacers host Bradley Beal, Russell Westbrook, and the Washington Wizards in a game with major playoff implications on Saturday, May 8 at 7:00 PM ET.


A limited number of tickets for all remaining Pacers home games are now on sale. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »