Desperate Pacers hope to tie series with Hawks
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers will try to even their series with the Atlanta Haws Saturday afternoon in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Philips Arena.
The Pacers, the top seed in the East, are in danger of falling down 3-1. They lost Game 3 in Atlanta, 98-85, and are just 2-15 in their last 17 games in Philips Arena.
"We came down here to get one game, and that's what we're intending to do," said Indiana forward David West.
On Thursday, Jeff Teague scored 22 points with a playoff career-high 10 assists and the Hawks took the series edge. Kyle Korver tallied 20 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range, DeMarre Carroll netted 18 and Paul Millsap recorded a 14-point, 14-rebound double- double in the win.
The Hawks shot 12-of-34 from 3-point range and made 30 of their 37 attempts from the free throw line. Atlanta made just 2-of-16 3-pointers in the first half.
"(In) the first half, we were shooting bad from 3," said Teague. "(In) the second half, we came out (and) made some big shots. (Korver) was huge in the second half for us. Everybody just played well. It was big win."
Indiana, meanwhile, made 5-of-20 shots from deep.
Paul George made a pair of free throws to push Indiana in front, 40-39, early in the third. Carroll, who did not attempt a 3-pointer in the first half, nailed a trey before converting a three-point play that started an 11-2 spurt for the Hawks.
Shelvin Mack knocked in a 3-pointer early in the fourth that stretched the lead to 12, 72-60. Luis Scola scored four straight points later in the frame that cut the deficit to four with just under 6 1/2 minutes remaining.
Atlanta led by six when Teague made a circus 3-pointer from the far wing with the shot clock expiring that pushed the margin to 89-80 with just over two minutes left.
Following a pair of misses at the free throw line from Lance Stephenson, Korver nailed a trey before Teague made a layup to increase the cushion to 14 as the Hawks cruised in the final minutes.
Stephenson paced Indiana with 21 points to go along with 13 rebounds, while George added 12 points with 14 rebounds in the setback. Scola deposited 17 points off the bench and West dropped in 16 points with seven rebounds and five assists for Indiana.
For the Pacers, who finished the regular season with a 10-13 clip, one thing that needs to improve is the play of starting center Roy Hibbert. He is averaging 6.0 ppg and 4.67 rpg in this series and isn't much of a factor on the defensive side either.
That has led to speculation that Pacers coach Frank Vogel might sit his longtime starting big man.
"We'll look at everything, but I can't say that right now," Vogel of pulling Hibbert from the starting five. "He hasn't played well in the series to his point, but I've got great confidence in him. We'll keep working him and keep trying to figure it out. We'll see."
Indiana is now staring in the face of becoming the sixth No. 1 seed to lose in the first round and the fourth to do so in a seven-game series.
Game 5 will be Monday night back in Indianapolis.
04/26 09:01:59 ET