By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor
The Atlanta Hawks won their second-consecutive game and seventh contest in their last nine with a 104-75 home win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night.
Paul Millsap and Al Horford each had a team-high 18 points while Kyle Korver and Thabo Sefolosha both scored 12 points for Atlanta (37-29). Millsap also had a game-high nine rebounds.
The Hawks shot 47.1 percent from the field in the victory, hitting 15 three-pointers in 30 attempts. Atlanta grabbed more rebounds than Indiana, 50-38 and forced the Pacers into 16 turnovers.
“It’s a good win,” Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Defensively and offensively, that’s close to what we’d like to look like, where we’re playing at a high level on both ends.”
Myles Turner had a game-high 19 points for Indiana (34-31) while Monta Ellis scored 10 points. Paul George struggled from the field, scoring seven points while making three out of 15 shots. The Pacers shot 37.9 percent from the field in the contest and made five out of 24 three-pointers.
“We just got outplayed in every area,” Indiana head coach Frank Vogel said. “We just have to move on to the next one and put it behind us.”
A three pointer by Jeff Teague gave the Hawks an early 14-2 lead with eight minutes left in the first quarter. He finished the contest with a game-high nine assists and six points. Atlanta continued its torrid start to the game and a breakaway dunk by Sefolosha pushed its lead to 23-9 with five minutes to go in the first quarter. Atlanta finished the first quarter with the 30-17 lead.
Atlanta took a 52-38 lead at the end of the first half behind a game-high 16 points from Al Horford. The Hawks shot 43.2 percent from the field through the first two quarters, making seven out of 15 three-pointer attempts.
Offensively, the Pacers struggled from the field in the first half, shooting 37.2 percent from the field and making only two out of its nine three-pointers. Turner had a team-high nine points for Indiana while George had three points, making only one out of eight field goal attempts.
Millsap’s consecutive three-pointers helped Atlanta make the score 67-51 with 6:05 left in the third quarter. Korver joined the shooting party for the Hawks and two consecutive three-pointers of his own at the 3:43 mark of the third quarter gave them the biggest lead of the game at 79-51. The Hawks finished the third quarter on a 10-5 run and took a 89-56 lead into the fourth quarter.
Indiana outscored Atlanta 19-15 in the fourth quarter which saw both teams pull their starters at the start of it.