Hawks lead series, 2-1
J. Teague (ATL): 22 pts, 2 reb, 10 ast
L. Stephenson (IND): 21 pts, 13 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]
It was a must-win situation for the Hawks; losing meant relinquishing home-court advantage back to the Pacers. They needed a strong performance in their home building and what happened?
Jeff Teague shrugged.
In front of a sold-out and raucous crowd, the Hawks used a 59-point second half to take a 2-1 series lead on Indiana. Jeff Teague, despite the 7-for-20 shooting night, was tremendous, as he was constantly attacking the Pacer defense. Helping out Teague were Korver and DeMarre Carroll, who combined to shoot 12-for-17 from the floor and 6-for-11 from 3-point range. They were rewarded with a trip to the podium after the game.
The Hawks now have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead on Saturday.
Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]
Jeff Teague: I’m just going to let Jeff’s highlights speak here:
Like I said in the intro, I don’t care if Jeff was 7-for-20 from the field. He was extremely aggressive and produced a lot of open looks for himself and his teammates. 9/10
Paul Millsap: Millsap was a bit sloppy on the night (six turnovers), but he still managed to put up 14 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists. One of his biggest contributions was a clutch 3-pointer that he banked in as the shot clock expired. 7.5/10
Kyle Korver: Kyle finally got his shots to start going in, going 6-for-9 from the field for 20 points. He was responsible for one of the daggers in the fourth quarter, sinking an open corner 3 to give the Hawks a 12-point lead with not much time remaining. 9/10
DeMarre Carroll: In addition to scoring 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting, DeMarre held Paul George to just 12 points on 3-for-11 shooting. He had no turnovers and had a plus-16 rating for the game. It’s probably a good thing that the Hawks didn’t trade him “and more!” for Jeff Green. 10/10
Pero Antic: In 23 minutes, Pero was 0-for-5, scored on one point and only had three rebounds… yet he probably still outplayed Roy Hibbert. Hopefully Pero can get his shooting touch back soon, because he might have a couple of huge shots come his way during the rest of the series. 5/10
Lou Williams: 11 strong points off of the bench for Lou, who hit a couple of vital 3-pointers, including one to close the third quarter. He also blocked an Evan Turner shot at the rim, which might have been the most shocking play of this game, non-crazy 3-pointer category. 8/10
Elton Brand: Elton almost dunked the ball twice during the game, which would have been the greatest thing ever. Of course… he didn’t exactly have the hops to do so on each occasion. Whooops. 6/10
Mike Scott: The most valuable thing that Mike Scott provided in this game was… his defense? He was 1-for-5 from the field, but he actually did have a few nice defensive possessions against David West. His effort on that end allowed the Hawks to get away with playing Millsap at center when Pero was in foul trouble. 7/10
Shelvin Mack: Only 11 minutes for Shelvin as Teague and LouWill were playing well. Shelvin was 1-for-5 (like Mike and just like everyone else in Game 2), but he was not a negative for the Hawks; he still took care of the little things when he was on the court. 5/10
Coach Budenholzer: One decision that Budenholzer made that I thought was extremely important to this game: playing DeMarre for nearly the entire fourth quarter. Paul George played the whole quarter and having DeMarre out there from the start meant that George continued to have a rough night. 6/10
The opposition: David West, Lance Stephenson, and Luis Scola were all great. Everyone else that played for the Pacers was kind of awful. In addition to my last recap, it appears that the Pacers did not capitalize on how they played in the second half of Game 2. That doesn’t appear to be good for them moving forward, especially as Coach Vogel is again forced to mull over changes to the starting lineup due to Roy Hibbert’s continued poor play. 3/10
Next: Game 4 vs Indiana, Saturday, April 26th at 2:00 PM EDT