National Basketball Association
Indiana at Atlanta
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, April 24, 2014
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
The Indiana Pacers spent the first half of Game 2 looking like they would fall into an 0-2 hole in the best-of-seven series against the Atlanta Hawks before making a statement after the break. The Pacers will try to carry that momentum onto the road when they visit the Hawks for Game 3 on Thursday. Atlanta, which controlled the second half of Game 1 to pick up a stunning win in the opener, failed to put together the same closing kick in Game 2.
The Pacers looked a lot like the team that piled up the best record in the NBA over the first four months of the regular season after the break in Game 2, outscoring the Hawks 31-13 in the third quarter and keeping the pressure up defensively to put themselves in good transition situations. Paul George went 5-of-7 from 3-point range and finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals. George provided some dramatic 3-pointers down the stretch, including one to close the third-quarter that made it a 79-65 lead and another that pushed the advantage to 27 points midway through the fourth quarter.
7 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN Indiana, SportSouth (Atlanta)ABOUT THE PACERS:
Indiana limped through the final month of the regular and appeared to carry that form over into the playoffs while putting up little fight in Game 1. That changed in the second half of Game 2, when the Pacers, who led the league in scoring defense for most of the season, held the Hawks without a point over a stretch of 6:30 bridging the third and fourth quarters and put the game away. “I thought our energy was great,” coach Frank Vogel told reporters. “Our willingness to share the basketball was great. Our willingness to run was great. Just the scrambling mentality on the defensive end I thought was the biggest factor.”ABOUT THE HAWKS:
Jeff Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points in Game 1 but was held to 14 in Game 2 as George took over the defensive assignment and kept Teague out of the lane. Atlanta missed 12 straight shots during the decisive stretch and shot 29 percent in the second half. “I think there were some opportunities and shots that have been part of our system all year, and we want our guys to shoot and confident, and it’s a big part of the game,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters. “We make a few of those shots, maybe the third quarter feels a bit differently.”BUZZER BEATERS
1. Pacers C Roy Hibbert is 8-of-31 from inside the paint in the last seven games.
2. The teams split two meetings in Atlanta during the regular season.
3. Indiana F Luis Scola scored 20 points in 19 minutes off the bench in Game 2 after reaching 20 points only once previously this season.
Hawks 92, Pacers 88
Stats and Records