NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 29th (All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (17-12) at Atlanta Hawks (18-9), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Indiana Pacers look to extend their season-high winning streak to five straight games on Saturday night when they visit the Atlanta Hawks.
The Pacers head to Atlanta after downing the Phoenix Suns 97-91 on Friday night. George Hill had 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting to pace five Indiana players in double figures.
In recording their fourth straight win at home, the Pacers rebounded after blowing a 16-point third-quarter lead.
"We did just enough. You want them all to be blowouts when you win. The bottom-line is you get the 'W' and figure out a way to win," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel.
Paul George had 15 points and David West scored eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. Roy Hibbert added a game-high 14 rebounds to the win, Indiana's seventh in eight games.
"I just tried to be aggressive," said West. "You can't run away from those situations. You have got to be willing to make plays at the end."
The Hawks also head into this meeting off a victory having bested the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-94 on Friday. Jeff Teague dropped in a career-high 27 points with eight assists to give Atlanta its third straight win.
Lou Williams scored 16 points with five rebounds, while Al Horford ended with 14 points and 11 boards for the Hawks.
"I felt that we stuck with our game and guys played their positions," said Atlanta head coach Larry Drew. "In the first half guys kind of got away from it, but we fixed things at the break and came out on top."
Forward Josh Smith, who leads the Hawks with 16.6 points per game, missed the fourth quarter with a strained right hip flexor, but hopes to play tonight. Atlanta should also have forward DeShawn Stevenson after he sat out Friday's game with a sore knee.
However, forward Ivan Johnson's status is unknown after he missed the contest due to the stomach flu.
The Hawks have won three straight and 12 of their last 14 versus the Pacers, including an 89-86 home victory on Nov. 7. It was Atlanta's 10th straight victory as the host in this series.
Al Horford had 16 points and Teague added 15 as Atlanta used an 18-0 run in the fourth to pull away.
West and Hill both ended with 20 points for the Pacers, who haven't won in Atlanta since Dec. 22, 2006.
12/29 10:29:47 ET