Hawks hold Pacers to 23 in first half, cruise to road win
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Teague scored 25 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 107-88 drubbing over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Pero Antic added a career-high 18 points and Paul Millsap deposited 17 points with 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who have won two straight.
Atlanta now leads New York by two games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks have six games remaining on their schedule, while the Knicks have just four left.
Paul George netted 18 points to lead Indiana, which dug itself a huge hole in the first half en route to the blowout loss. David West finished with 13 points and George Hill had 12 for the Pacers.
Indiana dropped one game back of the Miami Heat for the top seed in the East after the Heat downed the Knicks earlier in the day. The Heat and Pacers have a pivotal matchup on Friday that could very well decide who receives the No. 1 seed spot entering the playoffs.
Indiana struggled mightily to put the ball in the basket over the first 24 minutes of action. The Hawks, meanwhile, nearly had as many field goals in the first half as the Pacers had points.
Indiana scored seven points in just over seven minutes as the Hawks raced out to a 22-7 lead. Pacers coach Frank Vogel yanked his five starters midway through the first because of the lethargic start and Cartier Martin's 3- pointer staked the Hawks to a 33-11 lead at the end of one.
Indiana shot 4-of-19 from the floor in the opening period and had even less makes in the second, converting 3-of-16 attempts.
Shelvin Mack buried a 3 with just under nine minutes left in second to stretch the margin to 45-15. The Hawks brought a 55-23 lead into the halftime break.
The 23 points marked the lowest scoring output in a first half in the franchise's history as Indiana had just one assist in the opening half and no Pacer recorded more than one basket. Atlanta shot 21-for-38 from the floor in the first two quarters to gain the healthy advantage.
Antic opened the third with a trey to make it a game-high 35-point game. The Pacers trimmed the deficit to as little as 16 in the quarter after a Donald Sloan runner, but Atlanta pushed the spread back to 20, 79-59, entering the fourth.
Atlanta shot 41-for-73 (56.2 percent) from the field for the game, including 12 3-pointers ... Indiana was 0-for-7 from beyond the arc in the first half ... Nine of the Pacers' 11 turnovers were committed in the first half ... Indiana fell to 34-6 at home and 24-2 against Eastern Conference foes.
04/06 20:46:07 ET