A 19-0 run over that time led the Pacers to a dominating 101-85
victory over the Atlanta Hawks to tie their best-of-seven,
first-round series at one, vividly producing images of how the
Pacers ran over opponents early this season.
Pacers forward Paul George scored a game-high 27 points, including
eight in the third quarter, and was greeted by virtually the entire
bench when he hit a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to end the
"We're together," George said. "If this is what it took for everyone
to understand how close this team is, then that's what it was. We've
got each other's back."
George also had a game-high 10 rebounds, leading Indiana's
38-rebound attack, and a game-leading six assists.
Forward Luis Scola, who didn't score a basket in Indiana's
series-opening loss Saturday, came off the bench to supply 20
points. Point guard George Hill scored all 15 of his points in the
second half. Guard C.J. Watson came off the bench to add 10.
"He rewards you for believing in him," Indiana coach Frank Vogel
said of Scola. "You know he's a warrior and you know he's got
Forward Paul Millsap led Atlanta with 19 points. Guard Jeff Teague,
who scored 28 points in the series opener, had 14 and was held to
two points in the second half.
Game 3 will be played Thursday night at Atlanta's Phillips Arena,
and George knows Teague will be back in a big way for that game.
"He's a great player," George said. "I'm going to challenge him. I'm
going to go back at him."
"I'm super excited," said Teague, an Indiana native. "I'm ready to
get out of here, being from here. I'm looking forward to getting
back home and in front of the Atlanta crowd, which will be a rocking
The Pacers, once down 11 points, began the third quarter with a
four-point deficit after Millsap scored 13 points in the first half.
Hill scored 10 points in the third quarter and George had eight as
the Pacers outscored the Hawks 31-13. Atlanta missed 15-of-20 shots
in the third quarter and had six rebounds to Indiana's 10.
"Thirty-one points and 75 percent (shooting). We've got to be better
defensively," Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said.
The Pacers used the 19-0 streak to put the game away, bringing their
home fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to their feet after a few days
of criticism that included some choice words from former NBA star
and current TV broadcaster Charles Barkley.
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"We were in a must-win situation," said Indiana forward David West,
who had six assists and eight points. "We had to play with a certain
level of desperation. We just got active with our voices, our hands.
I thought we were able to give ourselves a chance to win this game
in the third quarter."
The 19-point run by the Pacers covered the last 3:33 of the third
quarter and nearly the first three minutes of the fourth quarter. By
the time Atlanta guard Louis Williams stopped the streak on a
running shot for a basket with 9:03 left in the game, Indiana had
pulled ahead 87-65.
And if the score rolling up quickly on the Hawks was not damaging
enough, the final few seconds of the third quarter completely
A block by Indiana forward Ian Mahinmi set up a fast break and
George hit a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to end the quarter with
Bankers Life Fieldhouse erupting in noise. The Pacers scored the
last 14 points of the third quarter and the first five points of the
"We put the print on this game in the third quarter," George said.
NOTES: Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer congratulated his former boss,
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, by phone on Tuesday after
Popovich was named NBA Coach of the Year. "I'm a little biased. I
think he's the coach of the year every year," said Budenholzer, who
was a Spurs assistant for 17 years before becoming Atlanta's head
coach in 2013. ... Before Tuesday's game, Atlanta G Jeff Teague had
averaged 26.5 points per game in his two most recent games against
Indiana. His 16.5 points per game average during the regular season
was a career high. ... The Pacers won their last game in Atlanta,
89-85 on Feb. 4, breaking a 12-game losing streak at Phillips Arena.
Game 3 of the series is Thursday at Phillips Arena. ...The Pacers
are attempting to break playoff history against the Hawks. In all
previous five playoff series between the teams, the winner of Game 1
has won the series.
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