Post-Game Grades: Pacers Knock Off Hawks in Atlanta, Advance to Second Round
Survive. And advance.
Pacers truly did both of those things. Those last 16 minutes are never what you want to see, but they did enough late to get the franchise’s first win in Atlanta since before Lake Lanier was built.
David West should know. He constructed the dam single-handedly in the ’50s.
Old school. Hard hat.
Even he had some rough moments, but George Hill made some big plays late, and the defense really locked down. There will be more time to question the finish and praise the execution on both sides of the ball that created the big lead.
But for now, it’s just time to be glad this series is over.
The Indiana Pacers are now in the second round the playoffs for the second straight year. That’s not the goal, but it’s the first step towards making this season a success.
|David West, PF 42 MIN | 9-21 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | +7
Mr. West in the building. Series MVP despite some early ‘meh.’ Last two games, he has been everything. Missed a lot early, but took over when the lead needed extending.
|Paul George, SF 44 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +10
The defense late really was superb and you have to a like a guy who shuts down Josh Smith and Kyle Korver at different times depending on whether his team is trying to take away interior points or prevent threes. Good other stats, too. But ruh-roh on the shooting/scoring thing, which is problematic cause points are key to winning.
|Roy Hibbert, C 38 MIN | 8-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | +9
Just an animal. Was huge early to establish the interior and keep the Pacers in control. Without him, neither team might have shot 30% in the first half.
|George Hill, PG 36 MIN | 7-14 FG | 5-7 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 21 PTS | +2
Was so big late. Driving to the hoop easily late. Was the calmest Pacer under pressure.
|Lance Stephenson, SG 34 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +8
Had a lot of energy plays early, hitting a three and dropping two dimes early. Misses a layup or two that would have had his scoring higher.
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +1
Wasn’t helpful, getting fouls and such. Nice points for the time.
|Jeff Pendergraph, PF 12 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +4
|Ian Mahinmi, C 10 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -1
|D.J. Augustin, PG 19 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | 0
Bench did not travel. Missed open looks, got lost on the interior.