I'm glad the Pacers got this one against Hawks because they can be forgiven for losing their game tomorrow night against the 76ers in Philly. It will be their third game in three nights, the only time this will happen to any team in the league this season, thanks to that rescheduled game against the Bulls.
The 114-103 scoreline makes it sound like a fast paced game, but this one was actually painfully slow — and awful to watch — with a total of 59 fouls committed and 68 free throw attempts. A play in the second half took 10 minutes to decide, with multiple replays finally giving the Hawks a flagrant foul and the Pacers a technical. In the end, however, Paul George was simply too much, scoring 29 points to go with 5 rebounds and 4 assists to give the Pacers their fourth consecutive win and 15th consecutive home win. They are now 30-19 for the season and lead the Bulls by half a game for the third seed in the East.
All five starters scored in double figures. West had 15, including a few clutch baskets down the stretch. Hibbert had 12 on 6-8 shooting, George Hill had 15 points and 8 assists, and Lance Stephenson had 14. Mahinmi had 12 and Augustin 10 off the bench. And Gerald Green got a DNP – Coach's decision. That must hurt. Hopefully it will inspire him to improve like it did for Augustin earlier in the season.
The Pacers are now 20-3 at home but just 10-16 on the road. They have to get better away from Banker's Life Fieldhouse, and it can start with the 21-26 76ers tomorrow. The team's offense has been clicking, with tonight's win their third game in a row scoring over 100 points, but the defense has slipped a little. If they can get both working at the same time by the end of the season it will be scary.