Hawks surprise Pacers in Game 1
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Indianapolis native Jeff Teague enjoyed his playoff homecoming, scoring 28 points with five assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a surprising 101-93 win over the top-seeded Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Teague had 14 of his game-high 28 points in the third quarter, which Atlanta dominated from start to finish to pull away after the teams played to a draw in the first half. The Hawks outscored Indiana 30-16 in the period.
Paul Millsap scored 25 points for the eighth-seeded Hawks, who are in the postseason for the seventh straight season. DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver donated 12 points apiece.
The game featured two teams trending in opposite directions. The Hawks went into the playoffs with a 7-3 record in their final 10 regular-season games, while Indiana limped in with a 4-6 mark.
Paul George had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana, while Lance Stephenson scored 19 points and George Hill added 12.
Game 2 is Tuesday in Indianapolis.
Indiana struck first, jumping out to a 7-2 lead on 3-for-3 shooting, but Atlanta countered with 11 straight points to go ahead.
The lead stretched to 18-9 after Teague's layup, and Atlanta led comfortably for the rest of the opening period. Shelvin Mack and C.J. Watson traded 3- pointers in the final 10 seconds, with Watson's beating the buzzer and pulling Indiana to within six, 28-22.
Stephenson's personal 6-0 run early in the second helped the Pacers fight back and tie it at 30. Out of a timeout, Korver checked back in and hit consecutive jumpers to give the momentum back to Atlanta. He then swatted 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert's shot to the dismay of the crowd.
Indiana managed to weather the storm, briefly taking the lead back late in the second and stretching it to 49-43 after four straight George points. Again, Korver found the range from outside and hit a timely 3 for Atlanta. Teague followed with two free throws and with the clock winding down, George isolated on Cartier Martin and lost the ball making a dribble move. Teague came up with it and sprinted the length of the floor, missing a layup with a second left, but Korver was there for the tip-in to tie it at 50 heading into halftime.
Millsap's three-point play set the tone for the Atlanta-dominated third period. Carroll followed with a 3-ball and Teague hit a short jumper for a 58-50 lead.
The Pacers got back within two when Teague took over, scoring nine straight points following two Millsap free throws to give Atlanta its largest lead at 71-58.
Another Millsap three-point play capped a 14-0 flurry, and Hibbert was whistled for a moving screen on the other end to a chorus of boos from the home fans. Watson banked in a 3-pointer to end the run at 3:30.
The fourth quarter was more of the same for the Hawks, who hit timely baskets and made enough stops to keep Indiana at arm's length. The margin reached 20 points on multiple occasions before late 3-pointers from the Pacers brought the final tally into single digits.
The two teams split the regular season series, 2-2, with both teams stealing a game on the road ... The Hawks' seven-year stretch of making the postseason is the longest active streak in the East ... This was Atlanta's first road playoff win in its last nine games ... The Hawks were the fourth No. 8 Seed to win Game 1 by at least eight points. Two of the three others (Knicks in 1999, Warriors in 2007) went on to win the series.
04/19 22:20:15 ET