George and forward David West combined for 40 points and helped
the Pacers to an 89-85 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, giving
Indiana its first regular-season win in Atlanta since 2006.
George scored nine of his 18 points in the third quarter and West
had eight of his 22 points in that period, when the Pacers erased a
one-point halftime deficit to help end a 12-game regular-season
losing streak in Atlanta. Earlier this year the Pacers ended losing
streaks at Utah and San Antonio.
"We struggle here," said George, who is averaging 23 points and 9.5
rebounds against Atlanta this season. "I was aware of it. I don't
want a losing streak anywhere, so that was another edge to get a win
The Pacers (38-10) rallied for eight straight points to break open a
47-47 tie in the third quarter.
Indiana led by as many as 16 points with 8:10 left in the game and
withstood an Atlanta comeback that trimmed the margin to two points
on a 3-pointer by forward Cartier Martin with 14 seconds remaining.
Pacers forward Danny Granger iced the game by making two free throws
with 3.9 seconds left.
"We've had some struggles here, but not anything we're going to lose
sleep over," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. "We were confident we
could get a win here."
Indiana's main problem in the first half was turnovers. The Pacers
committed 14, which led to 17 Atlanta points and allowed the Hawks
to lead 43-42 at the break.
"We turned the ball over way too many times in the first half,"
George said. "The message at halftime was for us to take care of the
Indiana had only five turnovers in the second half and limited
Atlanta's all-star forward Paul Millsap to seven points on 2-for-11
"We're very happy with the win," Vogel said. "For the most part we
held a pretty explosive offense down to 85 points, a pretty strong
effort. If we get the turnovers under control we have a double-digit
Atlanta (25-22) had its two-game winning streak stopped. The Hawks'
top two scorers came off the bench. Forward Mike Scott scored 15
points and center Elton Brand added 12. Martin, who was re-signed to
a 10-day contract on Feb. 1, scored all eight of his points during
Atlanta's failed fourth-quarter comeback.
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"Offensively it wasn't one of our better nights," Atlanta coach Mike
Budenholzer said. "You have to give Indiana and their defense credit
for that. They're one of the best defensive teams in this league for
Atlanta played much of the second half without point guard Jeff
Teague. He left with 3:11 left in the third quarter and didn't play
in the fourth period due to the coach's decision. He had nine points
and seven assists.
Indiana forward Lance Stephenson was shaken up midway in the third
quarter on a drive to the basket. Stephenson was fouled by Millsap
as he attempted to split two defenders, and he landed on his back
when he fell. He remained in the game to shoot the free throw but
left with a sore lower back and did not return. He finished with 10
The game was much different from the last meeting in Atlanta on Jan.
8 when the Hawks won 97-87. Atlanta started that game with a 12-0
lead and held Indiana to a season-low 12 points in the first quarter
and 32 in the first half.
"It was the defensive effort by them and we were out of sync," Brand
said. "We missed some shots that we normally knock down."
NOTES: Indiana is now 5-0 when F David West records a double-double.
... Indiana C Andrew Bynum, signed as a free agent on Saturday, was
inactive. ... Atlanta G Kyle Korver extended his NBA-record streak
for consecutive games with a 3-point basket to 116. Korver knocked
down his first attempt with 9:11 left in the first quarter against
the Pacers. ... Atlanta G John Jenkins had lower-back surgery on
Monday and will miss the remainder of the season. The second-year
player from Vanderbilt, the team's first-round draft choice in 2012,
had been limited to 13 games this season. Jenkins has not played
since Dec. 26, when the injury flared up. He was averaging 3.1
points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.2 minutes. ... Atlanta assigned G
Jared Cunningham to the Bakersfield Jam of the Development League.
He had appeared in five games for the Hawks. ... Atlanta plays again
Wednesday at New Orleans and has four of its next five games on the
road. Indiana hosts Portland on Friday and plays four of its next
five at home.
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