Despite a furious fourth quarter comeback, the Hawks could not overcome a poor shooting effort to stay alive in the 2013 NBA Playoffs as the Pacers eliminated them in six games by a score of 81-73.
Led by a hot-shooting David West, the Pacers were able to withstand being outscored in the fourth quarter 23-16, and saw their lead chipped down to four before closing out the series and advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Atlanta had five players score in double figures, and the team made 90% of their free throws, but that was not enough to overcome shooting 33% from the floor, and 16% from behind the arc on the night. Al Horford led the Hawks in scoring with 15 points in 42 minutes played. Josh Smith played all but four minutes of the game, and contributed 14 points and 9 rebounds. He finished a meager 5-16 from the floor after starting 1-9 in the game.
The Hawks were down just 21-20 after the first, but 1-for-15 shooting in the second quarter (and just nine total points) allowed the Pacers to take control of the game. The nine points was the lowest scoring playoff quarter for the Hawks in the history of the franchise.
Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague shot a combined 6-23 from the floor and 1-8 from the behind the arc for a total of 22 points. The perimeter struggles were even more glaring for Korver, as he went a dismal 0-7 from three-point land including a big late miss in the 4th quarter.
David West and George Hill led the charge for Indiana with 21 points each, and they were flanked by an impressive night from Roy Hibbert with 17 points and 11 rebounds. It was the first win in 14 games for the Pacers in Philips Arena, and obviously, it could not have come at a worse time for the home team.
The Hawks now head into an off-season with just three players under contract and the expired contracts of Head Coach Larry Drew and superstar Josh Smith to deal with, while Indiana awaits the winner of the Boston-Brooklyn series. Stay tuned for additional content as we wrap up the 2012-2013 NBA season.