George, Pacers cruise to easy Game 2 win over Hawks 113-98

Thursday, April 25, 2013
Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert throws down a dunk over Atlanta Hawks forward Ivan Johnson during the second quarter on Wednesday.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Pacers forward Paul George was quick to credit his teammates for putting him in position to be named the NBA's Most Improved Player this season.

George followed up his triple-double in game one with a 27-point, eight-rebound, four-steal, zero-turnover game on Wednesday but teammates George Hill and Gerald Green helped push Indiana to a 2-0 lead over the Atlanta Hawks with a 114-98 win.

"Our starting five and our bench players are both important to what we're trying to do," George said. "That's what we're going to need."

Hill had 22 points on 4-for-7 threes and George came off the bench to finish with 15 points, including a pair of emphatic, momentum-changing dunks.

Green dunked over Hawks forward Josh Smith with 6:32 left in the second quarter to give Indiana its biggest lead up to that point, 45-35, then made an even bigger play to end the third quarter.

The Pacers took control of the ball on a Green rebound with 42 seconds left but seemingly bypassed a chance to get two possessions to the Hawks one to end the quarter, working the game clock down to just 24 seconds.

Green missed a three-pointer and the Hawks scored with just 1.2 seconds left.

David West took the ball out of bounds.

"When Dave was taking it out, he was telling me 'Go, G. Go, G. As soon as I saw him have the ball in his hands I just took off and I'm just happy I ended up dunking it before time expired," Green said. "They were still chipping away at us and still fighting; not giving up, which was expected. We knew Atlanta was not going to give up. They're not a type of team that gives up."

Green's dunk ended a 6-0 Hawks' run and gave the Pacers an 88-76 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Indiana used that momentum to continue running the Hawks out of the building and back to Atlanta with a 2-0 series lead.

"That was huge," George said. "Just being aware of the floor and the spacing and being aware of where guys are at. That crushes momentum when teams give up easy baskets like that, especially at the end of a quarter."

Indiana has been dominant so far in the series, winning the two games by a combined 32 points and outrebound Atlanta 95-73.

The Pacers have momentum but also the burden of an eleven-game losing streak in Atlanta.

Vogel said that's not an issue.

"This (Pacers) team is really two years old," Vogel said. "We've got some guys that have been here longer, but I don't think the length of the losing streak is a factor. The fact that we haven't won there this year is a factor. We've got to go down there and figure out what we've got to do to get a win in game 3."

The Pacers will attempt to take a 3-0 series lead on Saturday at 7 p.m.

"We've got to stay tough," George said. "We've got to make sure we execute ... We've just got to clean everything up from tonight and I think we will."

At Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indiana)

Atlanta 19 31 26 22 -- 98

Indiana 25 34 29 25 -- 113

Atlanta (98): Korver 3-10 0-0 9, Smith 7-10 1-2 16, Horford 5-11 3-6 13, Teague 7-16 2-2 16, Harris 6-10 3-5 17, I.Johnson 1-3 2-4 4, Stevenson 1-2 0-0 3, Jones 1-2 0-0 2, Petro 2-4 0-0 4, Scott 2-5 0-0 4, Jenkins 0-1 0-0 0, Mack 2-2 0-0 5, Tolliver 2-3 0-1 5. Totals 39-79 11-20 98.

Indiana (113): George 11-21 4-7 27, West 1-4 5-7 7, Hibbert 5-10 5-5 15, Hill 7-12 4-4 22, Stephenson 2-4 0-0 4, T.Hansbrough 2-6 1-4 5, Green 6-11 0-0 15, Augustin 2-6 2-2 8, Pendergraph 4-6 0-0 8, Young 0-3 0-0 0, B.Hansbrough 0-1 0-0 0, O.Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Mahinmi 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 41-87 21-29 113.

3-Point Goals_Atlanta 9-23 (Korver 3-9, Harris 2-4, Mack 1-1, Smith 1-2, Stevenson 1-2, Tolliver 1-2, Scott 0-1, Teague 0-2), Indiana 10-25 (Hill 4-7, Green 3-6, Augustin 2-4, George 1-4, Stephenson 0-1, B.Hansbrough 0-1, Young 0-2). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Atlanta 48 (Horford 10), Indiana 55 (Hibbert 9). Assists_Atlanta 25 (Horford, Teague 5), Indiana 22 (Augustin, Hibbert, Hill, George, West 3). Total Fouls_Atlanta 24, Indiana 19. Technicals_Harris, Horford, I.Johnson. A_18,165 (18,165).

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