Indiana Pacers (41-12) 108
Atlanta Hawks (25-27) 98That’s how you want to come out and start the second half of this NBA season for the Indiana Pacers. They storm out in front with a big run and finish that first quarter 35-23. That’s just what I wanted to see out of this team starting out of the gate. We had seen this team slowing down a bit before the All Star break, but that first quarter showed how just a few days off could do wonders.
Things slowed down a bit in that second quarter as the Atlanta Hawks are able to claw their way back. Getting the lead down to single digits and putting up 26 of their own points in the second. Kyle Korver continued his three point streak and ends up with 5 on the night on his way to 19 points.
But on the Pacers’ side, Paul George stepped up and was just short of the 30 points I had predicted for him. It’s also about how he’s shooting, not just the points. Tonight’s shooting was 8-18 from the field and 4-8 from three point range on the way to 26 points. If he can keep up those numbers just about every other night, the scoring will be back to where it was before this funk of January and the current month. 26 would be a nice number to average from here on out, and if George can work his game like he should, I would believe he can achieve that.
David West was his solid self with 17 points. 6-10 on the night is where West should be. Once again, like George, if West can just hold steady at that line, it would help the Pacers out so much in the offensive game.
The Pacers as a team did cool off with their shooting ending around 49%, but still 108 points on the night is much more than I would expect out of them. I’ve always said, get 100 and hold the other team to under 95, and it’s a win. The defense didn’t hold the Hawks to under 95, but still did enough to pull off the ten point win that I predicted.
No rest for the team as they head off to Minnesota for a game tomorrow night. The national audience will get their chance to see this team in action on ESPN, so that should be a good time to showcase what this Blue and Gold is all about.