In their first game back from the All-Star break, the Indiana Pacers dispatched the Atlanta Hawks with ease. The Pacers rode a strong first quarter to come away with a 108-98 win.
After so many slow starts this season, the Pacers were nearly able to put this one away in the first. The Pacers had a 35-23 lead after one, and had a 22-point lead with four minutes left to play in that opening period. A late run by Atlanta kept this close, but the Pacers managed to keep the Hawks at arms length most of the night.
Fresh off his All-Star start, Paul George led the Pacers with 26 points. He had 14 points in the first quarter alone. George was 8-0f-22 from the field, including 4-for-8 from the three point line.
Roy Hibbert had just 10 points and five rebounds, but hosted his own block party by turning away four Hawks’ attempts. Ian Mahinmi was also invited to the party, swatting three more shots into the stands.
The Pacers defense, while inconsistent, managed to give the Hawks fits. Atlanta turned the ball over 22 times resulting in 35 points for the Pacers.
George Hill was the only starter who failed to reach double digits as he finished with nine. Hill wasn’t idle on offense as he dished out seven assists.
Much to the fans delight, Chris Copeland was able to get in on the action with a three pointer late in the fourth.
The Pacers had a solid shooting night as well. They shot well over 50-percent through the first three quarters, and the final number dropped to 49-percent by the end of the game. Indiana also shot better from the arc, hitting nine three pointers Tuesday night.
Up next, the Pacers travel to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves Wednesday night.