The Atlanta Hawks played the Indiana Pacers really well during the first half of Tuesday night’s first round playoff match up… but that was it. From the start of the second half, the Pacers outscored the Hawks 53-33 and calmly won the game 101-85 to even up the series as it heads to Atlanta.
Paul George led all scorers in this one, dropping 27 points on 9-16 shooting, including 5-7 from the 3-point line and a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. Another key player for the Pacers was Luis Scola off of the bench. Scola seemed to hit every shot he took from the high post and ended with an extremely efficient 9-14 from the field and 20 points.
The offense was much more subdued for the Hawks, and three of the starters (DeMarre Carroll, Pero Antic and Kyle Korver) scored 5 points or less. Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague led the way (as usual) for Atlanta, scoring 19 and 14 points respectively, but that wouldn’t be close to enough to edge Indiana in this one. Both Mike Scott and Louis Williams added valiant efforts off of the bench (each scoring 11 points), but in the end Indiana’s revived defensive intensity was just too much.
The Pacers held the Hawks to just 39.2 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from the 3-point line. In addition to that, the Pacers were able to limit Atlanta’s second-chance buckets with 30 defensive rebounds, and out-rebounded the Hawks by a margin of 38:31. Most of that poor shooting really started in the third quarter, where the Pacers outscored Atlanta 31-13, but the entire half was pretty rough:
The Hawks shot 12-for-41 (29.3%) in the second half.
— Bo Churney (@bochurney) April 23, 2014
We’ve mentioned repeatedly that the Hawks were going to have to shoot extremely efficiently (and frequently) to beat the Pacers in this series and tonight showed exactly why. As the series heads back to Philips Arena, eyes should turn to the trio of Korver, Carroll and Antic–all of whom need to step up for the Hawks to make it out of the first round and pull off a huge upset of No. 1 Indiana.
1-5, 2-5 and 2-9 from them just isn’t going to cut it.