Pacers pound Hawks in must-win game 5, take 3-2 series lead

The first round series between the Indiana Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks has so far been dominated by the home team, which is why game 5 is so pivotal. Fortunately, after two stinkers in Atlanta, the Pacers turned it up a notch and got back to the type of play in March that made people consider them a serious threat to Miami.

The final score was 106-83, and the game was blown open in the second quarter when David West got assertive offensively scored 12 points. He finished with 24 for his first "good" game of the series. The Pacers will need more of it, and it was good to see him put up some numbers after some rather ordinary performances (by his standards).

The box score shows some unusual stats. Paul George had 21 points on 7-8 shooting from the field. Roy Hibbert had 18 but 12 of those points came from the free throw line (12-14). George Hill had a rare 10 assists. Lance Stephenson hada team-high 12 rebounds. We are not likely going to see any of these again this series.

The Pacers can breathe a sign of relief now they are up 3-2 and knowing that they have game 7 at home if they need it. It will be interesting to see how they respond in Atlanta, where they have lost 13 games straight. If they want a chance against the Knicks (assuming they get past Boston), they must play better on the road because they don't have home court advantage.

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