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Pacers draw even with Hawks behind 2nd-half surge

Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - It was a tale of two third quarters for the Indiana Pacers.

In this one, there was more emotion, there was more intensity and a lot more celebratory chest bumping.

Paul George had 27 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals and the Pacers routed the Atlanta Hawks, 101-85, in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series on Tuesday night.

"That's why he was in the MVP conversation early," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said of George. " It makes him one of the most complete players in the game when he plays like he did tonight."

The Pacers trailed 52-48 at the half, but outscored Atlanta 31-13 in the third and never looked back. They shot 75 percent (12-of-16) in the frame while limiting the Hawks to just a 25 percent clip (5-of-20) for the stanza.

Indiana took a healthy 79-65 cushion into the fourth, where it led by as many as 27 before cruising to the easy triumph.

Atlanta outscored Indiana 30-16 in the third period in Game 1 en route to a 101-93 triumph on Saturday night to become the first road team to defeat the Pacers twice this season. Indiana went 35-6 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse during the regular season.

Game 3 of this best-of-seven set will be Thursday in Atlanta.

Luis Scola posted 20 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while George Hill netted 10 of his 15 points in the third for Indiana, which has won at Philips Arena just twice since December of 2006.

Paul Millsap put in 19 points and Jeff Teague added 14 points, five boards and four assists for the Hawks.

"They were aggressive, they made a lot of plays and our execution, particularly in the third quarter has to be better. That's what we'll work on," Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer said.

Lance Stephenson drove in for a reverse and finished the three-point play with 7:58 to go in the third to give Indiana its first lead, 62-59, since the 4:35 mark of the opening frame.

He then nailed a step-back jumper a few minutes later to cap the 11-2 run and give the Pacers a 66-61 advantage.

After an Elton Brand jumper got Atlanta back within 68-65, Indiana closed the stanza by netting the final 11 points. George's triple at the horn staked it to its 14-point spread.

Earlier, the Pacers put in the game's first seven points, but the Hawks outscored them 26-14 for the remainder of the opening frame and headed into the second with a 26-21 margin.

Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack knocked down 3-pointers to jumpstart an 8-2 Atlanta spurt for a 38-27 advantage early in the second.

Indiana, though, countered with a 10-2 flurry. Scola had tallied all 13 of the Pacers' points in the quarter before C.J. Watson's straightaway three at the 4:44 mark concluded the burst and pulled Indiana within 40-37.

Game Notes

The Pacers shot 52.9 percent (36-of-68) from the floor and 47.1 percent (8- of-17) from beyond the arc ... Atlanta shot 34.5 percent (10-of-29) from 3- point range ... Indiana held a 40-24 points in the paint advantage.

04/23 01:28:47 ET

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