Hawks Push Indiana to Brink of Elimination
(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.) — The top-seed in the Eastern Conference trailed by as many as 30 points on their home floor while fans watched in bewilderment, raining down boos upon their beloved team. The Atlanta Hawks used a 41-point second quarter to defeat Indiana 107-97 and a take 3-2 series lead.
“We don’t do much for moral victories, we just dropped the ball,” said Pacers forward David West. “Everybody’s got to be ready to play and I didn’t think we responded well enough.”
West finished with 16 points, as did George Hill and Lance Stephenson. Indiana was led by Paul George’s 26 points but Atlanta shot 50% from the floor and were 15-of-27 from the three-point line. The Hawks did have to make some defensive stops late as the Pacers attempted a comeback, cutting the deficit to 96-87 with just over four minutes to play.
However, Kyle Korver buried a three that put the game out of reach. Korver finished with 16 points as Atlanta was paced by Shelvin Mack’s 20 points off the bench. Mike Scott also scored 17 points, all of them coming as part of a 30-6 first-half run that blew the game open.
“We can play with this team,” Scott said afterwards. “They’re a great team, especially at home, great players, great coach, but we have a belief in ourselves as well.”
Indiana has never won a series when trailing 3-2 while the Hawks are one win away from advancing for the first time since 2011.
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