Atlanta’s winning streak snapped by Indiana 93-87

Joshua Broom —  December 28, 2015

Monta Eliis scored a season-high 26 as the home-standing Indiana Pacers snapped the Atlanta Hawks’ winning streak at six games. Atlanta turned the ball over 20 times en route to dropping a 93-87 loss to Indiana.

On an off-night for Paul George, the Pacers rode the hot hand of Solomon Hill down the stretch to hold off a late surge by Atlanta. The Hawks’ last stand came when game officials determined Paul Millsap’s missed free-throw went out of bounds off Indiana with 1:05 remaining. Down three, this set the stage for Atlanta to potentially tie the game in the waning moments of regulation. However, Jeff Teague’s sixth, and most costly turnover of the night, came as Ian Mahinimi provided the Pacers with a clutch steal to seal the game in the home team’s favor.

In addition to his game-saving heroics, Mahinmi added 13 points and nine rebounds. Chase Budinger notched four of his 10 points in the fourth to join Solomon Hill and Ellis in twin-figures.

The Indiana bench outscored the Hawks’ 35-25 on the evening.

For Atlanta Paul Millsap’s 24 led the way. Millsap was joined in double-digits by Teague (18 points), Al Horford (10), and Thabo Sefolosha (14).

The Hawks opened the game on a 21-11 run, led by Kent Bazemore’s two early 3-pointers. However, the Pacers went on a 20-10 run of their own to tie the game at 31 midway through the second quarter.

Ellis banked in a 25-foot 3-point shot to give Indiana it’s first lead of the contest with 5:43 remaining in the first-half. For the half, Ellis led all scorers with 15. The Pacers would end the opening 24 on a commanding 18-9 run to take a 52-40 lead into intermission.

As the third quarter began, the Hawks’ Millsap scored seven quick points to ignite a 20-8 Atlanta run that saw the game tied at 60 with 4:35 remaining in the stanza. However, Jordan Hill and Ellis’ strong offensive play spearheaded a 14-8 Indy spurt to end the quarter.

Down eight to begin the fourth, the Hawks put up a valiant effort in the final frame.However, it was not to be on this night, as Indiana turned back Atlanta’s charge for their second win in as many games.

With the win, Indiana’s record improves to 18-12 on the season, as they move into fourth place in the east. Meanwhile, the 20-13 Hawks dropped to third in the conference with the loss.

Next up for the Pacers will be a Wednesday night visit to the Chicago Bulls. Atlanta travels cross country to take on the Houston Rockets Tuesday night, on the tail end of a back-to-back.

Joshua Broom

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