The Atlanta Hawks stunned the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of their first-round series, notching a 101-93 victory. The Pacers’ offense struggled, while the Hawks’ ability to space the floor and take advantage of Roy Hibbert’s lack of mobility was the key to victory.
Jeff Teague was dominant, nailing stepback jumpers over perimeter defenders, slicing into the defense and ended the night with a game-high 28 points. Atlanta pulled Hibbert away from the rim and was able to lean on Teague to take advantage of the space created in the paint. Teague scored 14 points in the third quarter and was key to the Hawks outscoring Indiana 30-16 through the period.
Atlanta’s front court players did a great job spreading out Indiana’s defense. Big man Pero Antic hit a pair of three-point shots, proving to be enough of a threat to keep Hibbert and the Pacers aware of his position on the court. Paul Milsap also drained two three-pointers, even completing a four-point play after being fouled on one of his makes.
Things went Atlanta’s way while the Pacers struggled on both ends of the floor. Paul Milsap had a rough night, going just 6-for-18 from the field.
Paul George finished with a team-high 24 points, thanks to a 9-for-12 performance from the free-throw line. Lance Stephenson added 16 points, but their third-quarter drought was too much to overcome.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in Indiana as the Pacers attempt to tie the series before heading to Atlanta for Games3 and 4.