Indiana wins series 4-3 (Game 2 of 7)

Indiana wins series 4-3

Game 1: Saturday, April 19th
Game 2: Tuesday, April 22nd
Game 3: Thursday, April 24th
Game 4: Saturday, April 26th
Game 5: Monday, April 28th
Game 6: Thursday, May 1st
Game 7: Saturday, May 3rd

Hawks 85

(38-44, 14-27 away)

Pacers 101

(56-26, 35-6 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    7:00 PM ET, April 22, 2014

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 26 26 13 2085
    IND 21 27 31 22101

    Top Performers

    Atl: P. Millsap 19 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Ind: P. George 27 Pts, 10 Reb, 6 Ast, 4 Stl

    Pacers bounce back to rout Hawks and even series at 1-1 news services

    INDIANAPOLIS -- When the Indiana Pacers needed a lift, Paul George stepped up. All over the court, over and over again.

    George had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and the Pacers used a big second-half run to rally for a 101-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

    George Hill scored each of his 15 points in the second half, helping top-seeded Indiana earn a split of the first two postseason games at home. George also had four steals and blocked a shot while helping keep Hawks point guard Jeff Teague in check.

    "That's why he was in the MVP conversation early," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "He always does those types of things, guarding the best perimeter player, rebounding the ball, deflecting the ball. His hands were all over the place. It makes him one of the most complete players in the game when he plays like he did tonight."

    The Pacers sure needed it.

    For seven weeks, Indiana heard everyone question its fortitude, team chemistry, even whether it was worthy of a No. 1 seed. The complaints grew louder after Saturday's 101-93 loss. George and his teammates spent the next 72 hours seeking solutions and defiantly insisting they would be OK.

    On Tuesday, they finally reverted to their early season from.

    Indiana limited the Hawks to 33 second-half points and dominated the third quarter. Next up is Game 3 on Thursday in Atlanta, where the Pacers have only two wins since December 2006 -- though one of those closed out last year's first-round playoff series in six games.

    "We want to build on what we've got going," Indiana forward David West said. "We want to continue to be aggressive. We know they're going to play better at home, but we're going down there to get back in charge of this series."

    George was 9 for 16 from the field, including a 5-for-7 performance from 3-point range. He also went 4 for 4 at the line. According to ESPN Stats & Information, it was the first time that George had shot better than 50 percent from the field since March 14, snapping a career-long 16-game streak.

    He also was the first NBA player in 859 playoff games -- dating to New Jersey's Jason Kidd in 2003 -- to fill up the boxscore with at least 27 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, four steals and a blocked shot, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

    Perhaps more importantly, he managed to contain Teague after he burned Indiana for 28 points in Game 1. George wanted the responsibility of guarding Teague, who had seven points in the first quarter and seven more for the rest of the game.

    "I sat down and it was homework for me, just locking into his tendencies and figuring out where I will get beat or where I'm vulnerable against him," George said. "It's a challenge."

    George was the catalyst, but he had plenty of help.

    Hill, who had been mired in an offensive funk, made 5 of 6 shots in the second half. Luis Scola, who kept the Pacers close when West got into early foul trouble, finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. The defense that gave up 11 3-pointers in Game 1 and eight more in the first half of Game 2, allowed just two over the final 24 minutes.

    "Our execution on both ends of the court wasn't at the level we need it to be," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "Give them credit, they were aggressive, they made a lot of plays and our execution, particularly in the third quarter has to be better. That's what we'll work on."

    Indiana appeared to be in trouble when it trailed 38-27 in the second quarter and was still down 52-48 at halftime. But the Pacers stormed into the lead with a 31-13 third quarter.

    West sparked a 25-2 run with a bank shot that made it 70-65 with 3:20 left in the third. George made a buzzer-beating 3 to make it 79-65 heading into the fourth, and the Pacers scored the first eight points of the final period.

    "If that's what it took for everyone to understand how close this team is, that's what it was," George said. "We've got each other's back and that's what it felt like."

    Game notes

    The Hawks were trying to open a playoff series with two straight road wins for the first time since they were located in St. Louis and swept Baltimore 3-0 in the 1966 Western Division semifinals. ... Defending Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan attended the game. ... Atlanta outscored Indiana 30-16 in the third quarter Saturday.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Research Notes

    The Hawks combined for 4-of-11 shooting for 9 points against Paul George as their primary defender. George forced seven turnovers when he was the primary defender. - Paul George was also 9-of-16 shooting on Tuesday, first time since March 14 he shot better than 50% from the field (16 games).
    Roy Hibbert was 1-of-7 shooting, all coming in the paint. In the last seven games, he is combined 8-of-31 (26%) in the paint. He has not hit a shot outside the paint since April 4th.
    The Hawks were 8-of-15 (53.3%) on open jump shots in the first half and ended the first half with a four-point lead. That quickly vanished in the second half when the Hawks went 3-of-17 (17.6%) open jump shots. --An open jump shot is any jumpers outside of 10 feet with a defender more than four feet away from the shooter.
    ANALYSIS: The Pacers' 58.8% effective field goal percentage was their seventh-best in a game this season (including playoffs). The Pacers are now 14-0 when having an effective field goal percentage of over 55%.
    Using an individual players plus/minus as an indicator for his personal success is something that can be used from time to time...but it usually does not tell the tale of a whole team...but this season it seems to be making the case for the Pacers... It is also interesting to note the Pacers are 8-2 this season when Hibbert scores 20+ points, 17-2 when he has 10+ rebounds and 12-1 when he has 5+ blocks...

    ESPN Stats & Information