GRADES: Hawks 90, Pacers 69

Raj Prashad —  April 27, 2013

Pacers lead series, 2-1

IND(2-1) 69 – 90 (1-2)ATL

Key Performers:
D. West (IND): 18 pts, 6 reb, 2 ast
A. Horford (ATL): 28 pts, 16 reb, 2 blk

Indiana got out to an 8-1 lead early, but head coach Larry Drew called the first timeout, let the fans back into the game and succeeded in pushing a 42-10 Hawks run to give Atlanta a massive cushion in the second half. The Hawks used transition buckets, physicality in the paint and fantastic perimeter defense on George Hill and Paul George to get back into the series, now trailing just 2-1.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Horford had just six points when David West shoved him to the ground on a fast break, earning a flagrant foul for his trouble. Big Al responded with a massive 26-point, 16-rebound effort as he dominated the paint and led a few transition buckets. Having Horford matched up with West on both ends of floor allowed him the size advantage to work with, leading to a career night. 9.5/10

Josh Smith: It was a heck of an efficient night from Josh on both ends of the court as well. He played excellent defense on George, frustrating the forward whom Atlanta didn’t seem to have an answer for in the first two games of the series. Only three of his 13 attempts came from behind the 3-point arc and he consistently utilized his mismatch in the post over George. 9/10

Jeff Teague: Despite making only 4-of-15 shots, Teague was aggressive from the tip and had spurts of scoring Atlanta needed to push toward the big win. He finished with 13 points, six rebounds and five assists while turning the ball over only twice. He also played great defense on Hill, cutting off his driving lanes and forcing bad passes. 6/10

Devin Harris: Devin didn’t have a great night for the second consecutive game as he was virtually nonexistent on offense. He played well enough on the other end of the court to where his nonproductive night was matched by Lance Stephenson’s four-point effort. 5/10

Johan Petro: Petro only played 14 minutes, as LD preferred Ivan Johnson over the towering center, but he did have six points and four rebounds in the small chunk of minutes he played. 6/10

He also did this:

Ivan Johnson: Ivan slipped seamlessly into Petro’s position and played an incredibly strong game for Atlanta in a must-win game. Johnson played 27 minutes, didn’t allow a Hibbert bucket until after the half and finished with seven points and seven rebounds. Ivan Pachulia. 7/10

Kyle Korver: Korver played 29 minutes and only took five shots. He was 2-of-3 from 3-point land and had a great block on Tyler Hansbrough. 5/10

Anthony Tolliver: Tolliver came off the bench in place of DeShawn Stevenson and contributed a good bit of offense (two treys) and was solid on the defensive end. 4/10

Shelvin Mack, Dahntay Jones, Mike Scott and John Jenkins: With the win secured, Atlanta got to enjoy this lineup. INC/10

Larry Drew: LD’s timeout in the first two minutes of the game turned the tide on what was quickly getting out of hand. Implementing Josh Smith at the three and Petro at the five was brilliant. Riding Ivan Johnson’s strong play in the second half was just as good. 9/10

The opposition: Coach Vogel is had no idea what to do with George matching up with Smith on the block. Josh attacked the paint all night and Horford really beat down David West. 3/10


Next: Atlanta vs Indiana, Monday, April 29th

Raj Prashad

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