Atlanta Hawks open home season with win over Indiana Pacers


102. 125. 92. 100. Final

The Atlanta Hawks extracted their revenge from the post season, and defeated the Indiana Pacers in a rematch of last year’s first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in a 102-92 victory in, not only the first home game for Atlanta, but the first win on the year for the Hawks.

The evening started with tremendous fanfare, as the Philips Arena crowd was dazzled by some pretty awesome on-court graphics, and player introductions with the help of T.I. (who Domonique Wilkins even said on the broadcast was pretty honored to have his jersey worn by him). After all that calmed down, a basketball game was played, and it was much closer than people thought it might be, with the regression of the Pacers from last April to now.

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The Hawks hit their first three shots from the new Pacman-logo’d floor, and would take a 27-18 lead after one quarter, and a 51-44 lead into halftime. The Hawks were only outscored by Indiana once, in the second quarter (24-26), and stormed out for 32 fourth quarter points, which proved to be the major difference in the 10 point final.

Jeff Teague lead the way for Atlanta, scoring a game-high 25 points, and adding six assists and four boards to his line. Al Horford had a nice homecoming, scoring 20 points and grabbing four boards. In fact, every one of the Hawks’ starters – Teague, Horford, Paul Milsap and DeMarre Carroll – finished the night in double-figures except for Kyle Korver, who had nine. To contrast, every one of the Pacers starting five had double figures, and Chris Copeland lead Indy with 21 points from off the bench, no one else scored more than 14.

The Hawks shot 50.7 percent from the floor compared to the Pacers’ 38.3 percent, but other than that, Indy had better percentages and overall numbers just about all around (better from beyond the arc, better at the free throw line, more rebounds), but, where it counts most — the scoreboard — it was Atlanta’s day.

The Hawks will be off until Wednesday, when they travel to face the defending champions, and Mike Budenholzer’s former team, the San Antonio Spurs.