NBA News Wire
Hawks 107, Pacers 97
INDIANAPOLIS – The Atlanta Hawks made a franchise-best 15 3-pointers Monday night to help them to a 107-97 playoff win over the Indiana Pacers in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
The Hawks lead the best-of-seven series 3-2, and they can clinch the series by winning Game 6 on Thursday night at Phillips Arena in Atlanta.
Forward Mike Scott hit a playoff-career-high five 3-pointers and guard Kyle Korver also hit five as the Hawks closed to within one win of knocking off the top-seeded Pacers.
The Hawks hit 15-of-27 3-point shots, breaking the club’s playoff record by three 3-pointers.
Forward Shelvin Mack led Atlanta with 20 points. Forward Paul Millsap scored 18. Scott came off the bench to score 17. Korver added 16.
Indiana forward Paul George scored a game-high 26 points and had a game-high 12 rebounds.
Atlanta is trying to be the first No. 8 seed to win a playoff series since the Philadelphia 76ers knocked out the Chicago Bulls in 2012.
If the Pacers win Thursday, the deciding seventh game would be played Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers will attempt to avoid a first-round knockout for the first time since 2011, when the Chicago Bulls eliminated them in five games
Down by one point after the first quarter, the Hawks put the game away with a 25-4 run that was fueled by a 3-point shooting clinic. The Hawks hit eight 3-pointers in the second quarter alone.
The Hawks led by 21 points at halftime, and were never seriously theatened in the second half.
Scott, a second-year pro from Virginia, had a career night in just one quarter. He hit all six of his shots in the second quarter, including five 3-pointers. He had not previously scored more than 12 points in a playoff game or hit more than one 3-pointer.
Indiana center Roy Hibbert was on the bench less than six minutes into the game after missing the only shot he took and not getting any rebounds. He did return to the lineup in the second quarter, but finished with zero points and zero rebounds in more than 12 minutes. At one point in the third quarter, the Pacers covered the paint with forward David West and rarely used forward Chris Copeland.
NOTES: Atlanta G Kyle Korver moved into sixth place on the club’s all-time playoff 3-point scoring list when he hit a 3-pointer in the second quarter. It was his 23rd career 3-pointer in the playoffs. … The Hawks have hit at least 10 3-pointers in each of the first five games of the series. … Indiana F Paul George had a double-double in each of the first five games, leading all players in the NBA playoffs. Before Monday, he had also logged 159 minutes of playing time, 17 more minutes than the second-most used player, Atlanta F Paul Millsap. … Former Pacers coach Jack Ramsey died Monday. He led the Pacers to their first playoff victory in 1987 over the Atlanta Hawks. A moment of silence was held in his memory prior to Monday’s game. “I knew he was a great coach, but once I got to know him, he was a better man,” Donnie Walsh, current Pacers consultant, said in a statement.
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