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Mike Scott and hot-shooting Hawks outlast Pacers in Game 5

Apr 28, 2014, 11:54 PM EDT

Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers - Game Five Getty Images

After the first, he bounced as he backed down court.

After the second, he trotted away and slapped his rear end as if he were a horse. (Giddy up!)

After the third, he shook his head widely side to side as if not even he could believe the fortuitous bank.

After the fourth, he winked as he returned to the other end of the court.

Mike Scott made 3-pointers on four consecutive second-quarter possessions as the Atlanta Hawks celebrated early and survived late, ultimately beating the Indiana Pacers 107-97 Monday.

The freewheeling Hawks now lead the series 3-2 and are only one win from becoming the sixth No. 8 seed ever to upset a No. 1 seed. With Game 6 in Atlanta on Thursday, the Hawks could end the Pacers’ free fall before the weekend.

But maybe Indiana has just a little fight left.

Early in the third quarter, this seemed like every Hawks win in the series. They were spreading Indiana’s once-suffocating defense, confidently raining 3s.

Roy Hibbert picked up his fourth foul (in just 12 minutes of play). On the same stoppage, Lance Stephenson – whose earlier airball drew boos from the home Indiana crowd – earned a technical foul.

A couple minutes later, the Hawks led 80-50 – claiming the largest lead in the series by either team.

“We can close this gap,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel, who also had a third-quarter technical, implored his team before the fourth quarter.

At the time, Vogel’s words sounded hollow – the last gasps of a coach headed to the chopping block. But Vogel backed his words with necessary action.

The Pacers used three lineups in the fourth quarter, each smaller than the last:

None of those three lineups had played together all season, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Indiana began the fourth down 20. Copeland hit back-to-back 3-pointers. Watson found space. George got aggressive. All the while, the Pacers’ smaller and quicker players better defended Atlanta on the perimeter.

Multiple times, Atlanta’s lead fell to single digits, but Indiana had its best chance down nine with four minutes left and never got closer than eight .

The Pacers’ Game 5 comeback run out of time. Their season hasn’t necessarily.

Despite tonight’s setback, they should have renewed hope of reaching the second round. These small lineups can work.

As Atlanta’s lead dwindled against Indiana’s mobility, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was the one struggling to match up. Atlanta doesn’t have the juice to compete with the Pacers playing anywhere near even their average, and it showed.

It’s up to Vogel to keep the momentum going.

Hibbert never returned after sitting with his fourth foul, and he finished with zero points and zero rebounds. The mounting pressure on Vogel to bench his All-Star center has never been higher. With the Pacers’ season definitely and Vogel’s future with the team probably on the line, there’s little option now. Hibbert must sit.

And that still might not be enough.

The Hawks are capable of getting hot and stealing one game of two from nearly anyone in the league. Tonight, they made 15-of-27 from beyond the arc, setting an Atlanta franchise playoff record for 3-pointers made and an Indiana franchise playoff record 3-pointers allowed.

Korver made 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, and Shelvin Mack and DeMarre Carroll hit a couple, too. Scott also hit his fifth 3-point attempt in the second quarter.

After that one, he just ran back on defense. The Hawks draining 3s and beating Indiana has become business as usual.

Unless the Pacers learned in the fourth quarter how to save their season.

  1. bucrightoff - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:15 AM

    Hawks-Mavs in the Finals…

    • packergator - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      You’re kidding, right? These Hawks have little-to-no experience deep in the playoffs; they nearly blew last night’s game after a 30-point lead.

      • bucrightoff - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        The fact I got even one person to respond with “Are you kidding” means i got what I wanted. Thank you.

    • nard100 - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      ROTFL – That made my whole day today.

    • trevor123698 - Apr 30, 2014 at 5:00 AM

      and 11 idiots who thumbed him up

  2. buffalowned - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:19 AM

    Sooo who still thinks the Pacers are winning the east? Pacers fans? Charles Barkley? Anyone?

    • kb2408 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:31 AM

      It doesn’t matter who wins the East…they won’t beat the Western Conf. Champ.

      • buffalowned - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:33 AM

        That’s funny, cause I was told that the last 2 years

      • pphins4life12 - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:23 AM

        Heat and Lakers in the finals. Oh wait
        ……

      • packergator - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:37 AM

        Sort of like how the Thunder and the Spurs were supposed to beat Miami the last two years? I’m sorry, how did that work out again?

      • sire2334 - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:45 AM

        I dont know about that….These east teams are better than we thought, or at least they are in the playoffs. As I look at the east teams who might move on there the Hawks to me are the weakest link (who really know’s anymore?) but they’re playing good TEAM basketball right now so I dont think they’ll be scared of anyone if they move on.

      • billtetley53 - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        Buffalo: Here is all you need to know about kb2408.
        1.) He said Bill Russel wasnt any good and was overated because of his ppg.
        2.) He said that Jerry West was not a very good defensive player.
        3.) He said the Spurs last won a title in 2003
        4.) He said Kevin Love is coming to LA and #42 is waiting in a locker. # is retired for James Worthy.
        5.) 2011-12 he predicted not only the Heat not winning, but theLakers winning the title.
        6.) 2012-13 getting Howard he predicted a lakers new dynasty, Hest not msking finals.

        These are just off the top of my head. As you can see, we are dealing with a homeristic mental midget.
        Hes a 40 year old man that admitted he will bawl like a baby when Kobe retires.
        Thats kinda creepy. He has a healthy dislike for LeBron because he is the best player of his era, and he has eclipsed Kobe as the face of this generation of basketball. So, he behaves like a jilted schoolgirl when it comess to his “predictions.”
        Him not knowing how good at defense West was, or that #42 was retired, are inexcusable for such a great fan. He knows very little about his own team, how woyld he know about others?
        He doesnt, hes just a moronic, know nothing. Ridicule him, it what hes here for.

      • shaab23 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        @billtetley…hahaha, amazing comment.

    • laclove - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      I have to admit I had them to win the east. I’m still trippin off of layup/dunk that Lance wedged between the goal and backboard. You gotta be kiddin me, when it rains I guess it really does pour. There has been a down pour on this teams for a couple months. PG birthday is Friday and if they don’t win Thursday’s game he will have plenty of time to TURN UP.

  3. nfl4days - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:23 AM

    Kwame Hibbert continues to steal money from the pacers team and fans 0 points and 0 rebounds in a must win playoff game. This guy has been stealing paychecks for over a month and he was an “all-star” over Al Jefferson. He’s not even playing like a decent starter. The pacers must have forgotten games are played on the court and not on paper or in the commentator booths.

    • void96eater - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:50 AM

      Don’t insult Kwame Brown like that man.

    • nard100 - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      Kwame Hibbert – PRICELESS. On Sirius NBA in the morning, they had a guest that says Hibbert’s biggest problem is that he hears everything that is said about him and can’t shut any of it out. Imagine what will happen to him is someone calls him Kwame Hibbert in print? Suicide watch probably.

  4. kb2408 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    Indy is a joke. They should be ashamed of themselves. They’re going to lose the next game and go down as one of the biggest frauds ever. Bye Vogel. And someone get that big head case Hibbert on the coach of a shrink!

    • kb2408 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:36 AM

      *couch*

    • buffalowned - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:46 AM

      If your gonna talk about the biggest frauds, start with your boy Kobe who makes 25 mil a year LOL

      • buffalowned - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:48 AM

        *you’re*

      • void96eater - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:53 AM

        At least Kobe can play when he’s healthy. Hibbert has nothing wrong with him physically, yet he rebounds like he’s 2’7″, and he can’t make a layup.

      • packergator - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:41 AM

        Well, he probably won’t achieve his lifelong ambition – matching MJ’s six titles.

      • sire2334 - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        He does have something wrong with him physically…He has no vertical.

  5. antistratfordian - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    I remember Vogel once defiantly saying that he would never go small to try to match up with another team.

    Well that changed pretty fast.

    • davidly - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:55 AM

      I see your point, but I wouldn’t say “pretty fast”.

  6. 00maltliquor - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    I’m pissed at myself for not taking that juicy moneyline! I pussed out and took the points. Still had ATL though!

    • pantsfreezone - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:05 AM

      I took Atlanta -9. Drinks are on me.

  7. 00maltliquor - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:09 AM

    Ha! I bought a whole 3 pts. for -190

    My main game was Spurs moneyline for way more then I should have put on it. Almost died of a heart attack tonight. I’m still wiping sweat from my forehead. Dallas Mavs are fighters, they’re just born fighters!

  8. jzone954 - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:10 AM

    Yea but, kb you had Indy not only winning the east but taking out Miami with ease just a short time ago…..lol.

  9. jzone954 - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:12 AM

    Canton bound did too lol…..
    You guys are something else…

  10. davidly - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:54 AM

    Too much is made of Hibbert’s goose eggs. The successful defense of Teague in the first quarter was due in part to his being on the floor; it wasn’t until both of them were sitting that it broke wide open. Uh, frankly, you gotta counter with Copeland before you’re down by 20.

  11. zoomy123 - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    Ironically, Frank Vogel’s miserable coaching failure in this series has made me appreciate coaches like Erik Spoelstra a lot more. It was clear after game 1 that Indiana had some serious matchup problems because of Hibbert (and this was exacerbated by Hibbert’s precipitous offensive decline). But what does Vogel do? Stay with Hibbert. Why? If that was Spoelstra he would have taken Hibbert out at halftime of game 1 and never looked back. Spoelstra understands how to maximize the abilities of his entire TEAM, not just individual players. That’s why Spoelstra can pull Udonis Haslem and sub him for James Jones. Did UD like it? No, but he went to the bench and sucked it up because he trusts Spoelstra. Vogel has it completely backwards: Pulling your $14 M a year all-star center doesn’t mean you don’t have faith in him, it just means that you have more faith in the TEAM as a whole which allows you to adapt to fluid situations. That’s why with Miami it’s always, “Next man up.”

    • bougin89 - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:25 AM

      “It was clear after game 1 that Indiana had some serious matchup problems because of Hibbert (and this was exacerbated by Hibbert’s precipitous offensive decline). But what does Vogel do? Stay with Hibbert.”

      Did you watch the game? The Hawks went on their huge 2nd quarter run while Hibbert was on the bench.

      Hibbert played 12 minutes…

      Where Vogel totally erred in this game was failing to call a time out and sub for the Scola-Scott mismatch. He waited until Scott hit 4 straight 3’s.

      • zoomy123 - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        Not quite. Hibbert has been more of a matchup detriment than anything else in this series for the Pacers. You can’t cherry pick 1 instance and then claim that Hibbert isn’t the problem. The continuity of the Pacer’s team is already destroyed by keeping Hibbert in the game for 5 straight games. Vogel should have changed the line up immediately.

      • bougin89 - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        Hibbert has been a problem, no question. Last night wasn’t the first night Hibbert hasn’t played his usual minutes though. He’s only averaging 22 minutes a game this series. Vogel has frequently sat him for long stretches throughout this series. As he should.

      • bougin89 - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        Also, look at the other Pacers players. West has been “meh”, George Hill “meh”, Stephenson “meh”. Paul George has been terrific. He’s the only guy that’s stepped up and playing like it’s the playoffs.

  12. tigerpork - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    That’s what happens when you sign andrew bynum.

  13. borderline1988 - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    I cannot understand the Pacers.

    Roy Hibbert may have been a bit overrated, but he isn’t this bad. He make a few nice defensive plays in the first quarter, but he was missing easy layups and close-range hook shots.
    The guy is freaking 7″2, how can you end up with 0 points and 0 rebounds, even if you only played 12 minutes? Just stand near the basket without demanding the ball, and I’m sure some opportunities will eventually come his way.

    This guy must be as mentally fragile as a crystal.

  14. mannyicey - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    The Pacers aren’t a bad team. The Hawks are just a matchup problem. When you reduce Teague, take out Pero Antic and reduce even Millsap, you think that you’re job is done.

    But you simply couldn’t game-plan that Mike Scott- that guy over there on the bench; was going to walk out of there and score 17 points in one quarter. And you didn’t think that Sheldon Mack would basically play like Jeff Teague. I mean, it’s a pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop offense, but they are popping with 4s and 5s! The Pacers simply doesn’t have the personnel to get out there in time to contest a 3 from those “Big Men.”

  15. shaab23 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Even if the Pacers somehow get out of this series (I think they’ll win in 7), how are they going to incorporate Hibbert back into their scheme when they need him vs. Chi, Wash, and potentially Mia? He’s broken, and at this point has the confidence of a zit-faced 13 year old trying to pick up a hot chick.

  16. 25yearindyfan - Apr 30, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    The Pacers simply quit when they get down by double digits. Bunch of weak minded babies.

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