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Pacers bounce back with blowout Game 2 win over Hawks

Apr 22, 2014, 10:38 PM EDT

Paul George Paul George

Despite the legitimate troubles faced by the Pacers over the second half of the season, they still managed to finish with the one seed in the East.

They temporarily squandered the privileges that come with that accomplishment  in an embarrassing Game 1 performance against the Hawks, and for a while, looked as though they might suffer the same fate in Game 2. But something changed at halftime, and Indiana finally played to their potential. The Pacers closed the third on a 24-6 run, and never looked back on the way to a 101-85 victory that evened the series at a game apiece.

The run was actually much bigger than that, and began in the second quarter.

Indiana trailed early, in part because the same things that hurt them in Game 1 continued to be a problem at the start. There was no answer for Jeff Teague, who put up seven points, five rebounds and three assists in less than 10 first quarter minutes. The Hawks got off eight three-point attempts in the first 12 minutes (which is a mission of theirs) and knocked down four of them.

But the Pacers chipped away before halftime, and used the top-ranked defense in the league to put this game away in the third. It was a 52-27 run when all was said and done, thanks to the Hawks shooting just 5-of-20 from the field in the third while Indiana went 12-of-16, with a 10-point advantage in the paint.

Paul George had a redemptive game, finishing with 27 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals. The box score was less kind to Roy Hibbert, who was just 1-of-7 from the field with four rebounds in over 24 minutes. The matchups aren’t good for Hibbert in this series, and going smaller and quicker with guys like Ian Mahinmi (eight points) and Luis Scola (20 points in 19 minutes) seems to make more sense.

The Pacers played to their potential, while the Hawks seemed to give up without much of a fight in the third once Indiana exerted a bit of force. Atlanta needs to step up the intensity to have a chance in Game 3, while the Pacers simply need to share the ball offensively to generate open looks, and play the league’s best defense in order to reclaim home court advantage.

  1. 00maltliquor - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    Damn near made me regret taking that -7.5 spread until they turned it around in the 2nd half! If they would have lost I would be done with them for good.

    • antistratfordian - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:44 PM

      You’d finally be done with them for good only after they’re down 0-2 in a series where they’re the higher seed? You have a high tolerance for terrible.

      • casualcommenter - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:32 AM

        The Pacers this year lost game 1 at home against the Hawks by 8 points and you’re calling them terrible.

        Meanwhile, the LeBron-led Miami Heat last year lost their first game against the undermanned Chicago Bulls in a series where the Heat were the higher seed by 7 points. Back then, you probably didn’t view believing in the Heat despite a home loss to start the series as having “a high tolerance for terrible.”

        But since the Heat managed to beat the Bobcats with an injured Al Jefferson, you’ve decided that any team that loses game 1 at home is terrible.

        Because not only are you a LeBron-loving troll, you have a short memory span. Even LeBron-led teams have lost game 1 despite home court advantage. It happened just last year.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:27 AM

        Casual, brother… first of all, last year the Heat entered game 1 against the Bulls going 41-2 in their last 43 games. Why would anyone call them terrible because they fall to 41-3 in their last 44 games?

        And secondly, this isn’t about Game 1. These Pacers have been pretty bad for a while now. I think they’re 11-14 in their last 25 games – which probably wouldn’t worry anybody if they were the 2x defending champions with players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen on it… but they’re just not.

      • savvybynature - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:17 AM

        Happened twice last year. Spurs beat them in Miami to open the series too.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:31 AM

        People, people, people… I didn’t say the Pacers are terrible because they lost Game 1. You all should’ve been done with the Pacers weeks ago. No one should’ve had to wait for them to fall 0-2 to finally realize that they have insurmountable flaws. That was apparent before the playoffs started.

  2. wwttww - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    Hawks in 6

  3. jbeagles23 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    I don’t think any team has a cake walk even in these first round matchups

    • antistratfordian - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:42 PM

      I can think of a team that might.

  4. 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Totally worth the $12 ticjet

  5. 12444uggg - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    The Pacers playing decent D is all that’s needed to take the Hawks in 5. The next round is going to be rough, because the O is a hot mess. I’ve really never seen a successful team be so bad at one end of the court.

    • savvybynature - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:40 AM

      Seen the Bulls play recently?

      • pphins4life12 - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:55 AM

        He said Successful

  6. nfl4days - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Thought the hawks would take the game, but in the 2nd half you could see the momentum shift. Knew the Pacers would win when they cut the lead to 1, but then they blew the roof off the place. Let’s see how this goes. Either pacers in 5 or hawks in 6.

  7. zackd2 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    Hibbert 1-7? Good lord, you’re 7’2 270 put the ball in the freaking hoop.

    • willkill4caffeine - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      This is why if I’m the 76ers, I shy away from Joel Embiid in the draft. a 7’2 guy can’t dominate a game today the way it’s played. It’s an outside-in NBA, not an inside-out.

  8. antistratfordian - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    They need PG to put up games like this every time out just to have a chance.

    • savvybynature - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:43 AM

      Really? They won by 16, not by one. Your comment makes no sense unless you are referring to a hypothetical, future match up against a more talented team.

  9. dolphindubs - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:49 AM

    Did anyone else notice the ENTIRE Pacers team storm the court like they won the Finals after George’s end-of-the-3rd qtr three?

    Indiana, youre the Number 1 Seed. Act like it.

    • money2long - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:53 AM

      Ur name screams bias

      • kinggw - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        Was he wrong? Just because he’s a Heat fan he can’t point out how ridiculous it was that the Pacers rushed the court like they won the final four?

      • money2long - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        Had lebron Ray Allen did that and lebron jumped out to chest bump him he wouldn’t post that comment of ur the defending champs. Act like it. But we’ll see

      • money2long - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        Lebron Ray Allen ? Lol. Just Ray Allen *

      • pacersfan1 - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        I love all of you fake heat fans. I really think all of you fans are a little worried about the pacers. That is the only reason I can think that all of you always want to comment on pacers story’s . So much hate on the pacers and they have not even won anything. YET!

    • tashab03 - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      And? In case you haven’t noticed, they’ve been in a funk. They were happy they were playing like their old selves again. You mad?

  10. lakerade - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:10 AM

    Good to see the Pacers even the series. If they just worry about the defense the offense will come, at least against Atlanta.

  11. campcouch - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:23 AM

    Andrew Bynum.

  12. mungman69 - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:23 AM

    The Pacers are still in trouble.

  13. Jeff - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:44 AM

    Well color me surprised. After the initial series loss and the months of poor play, I didn’t see the Pacers winning another game. But, like many of you pointed out to me after game 1, it’s just one game. And, like many other games with the Pacers since the all-star break, we’ve seen flashes of brilliance only to see three- and four-game stretches of lethargic malaise. They never fully turned the corner once they got in a funk, so that doesn’t necessarily mean they have now.

  14. billtetley53 - Apr 23, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    billtetley53 – Apr 23, 2014 at 8:31 AM
    Money: You being a lakers fan and talking about someone elses bias is the height of comedic hypocrisy.
    Thanks for the chuckle this morning. You lakers fans never cease to amaze me with your absurd comments.

    • spthegr8 - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      ^^^ Obsess MUCH??? ^^^ It’s Creepy @ this point!!

      • billtetley53 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        SPTthegeek: Its as simple as reading the comments and replying back, whats onsessive about it?
        If I see something that I feel warrants a response, I will do so.
        Usually, you myopic lakers fans say the most inane things, its hard not to poke fun at you.

        Really what is creepy is you and your fellow lakers fans man love for Kobe.
        Grown menvhero worshipping is pretty pathetic.

      • spthegr8 - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        ^^^^ No, what is creepy is you and your SICK obsession with us Laker fans. You get on here to stalk our lives. I am not even sure if you like Basketball. You just like starting ish with Laker fans. I feel sorry for you because, this is a hobby for you. You really must lead a pathetic life!!. ^^^

  15. unxpexted1 - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    I dont know what Jeff Teague said to PG midway through the second but whatever it was PG decided to go in on the hawks after that. PG was playing really good D on the hawks best player and was all over the defensive side of the ball, and still had enough to carry them on offense. It is a shame that they pretty much rely on PG only at this point with other solid pieces around him. David West looked uncharacteristically timid.

    I hope they continue to get it together. They are a tough matchup for most teams when they play D like this.

  16. urodaddy07 - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    I don’t think the Hawks have enough talent (without Horford) to win 4 games. I still don’t believe the Pacers make it to the EC finals

  17. rrhoe - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    OMG,where is Andrew Bynum!!! What am I thinking,somewhere getting paid to do nothing no doubt.

    • pacersfan1 - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      Dude! You already posted that on a another story and it was not funny that time.

  18. kavika6 - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    PG needs to win more than one game before he howls at the moon and beats on his chest.

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