INDIANAPOLIS — All-Star forward Paul George scored 26 points on 8-of-18 shooting from the field and forward David West had 17 points and six rebounds as the Indiana Pacers downed the Atlanta Hawks 108-98 on Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Indiana (41-12) got off to a quick start in the second half of the NBA season. A 25-4 run during the middle of the first quarter put the Pacers on course to avoid back-to-back home losses for the first time this season.
The run began when George found guard Lance Stephenson open in the right corner for a 3-pointer with 8:57 to go in the first quarter for a 9-5 lead. Nearly 4 1/2 minutes later, the Pacers were up 31-9.
During the spurt, Indiana made 10-of-11 shots from the field, including 3-of-3 from beyond the 3-point arc. The Pacers finished the quarter shooting 66.7 percent from the floor (14-of-21) and led 35-23.
The Hawks did not go away quietly. They charged back with a 14-4 run to close the first quarter, trimming their 22-point deficit to three.
Atlanta again closed to three at 52-49 with 1:02 left in the second quarter when All-Star forward Paul Millsap passed to guard Kyle Korver on the left wing for a 3-pointer. Korver extended his streak of games with a 3-pointer to 121, longest in NBA history.
Indiana scored the final five points of the first half and led 57-49.
Stephenson led the Pacers in the first half with 13 pointsf.
Millsap, the Hawks’ leading scorer this season at 17.6 points per game, made 3 of 10 shots from the field and finished with seven points, continuing his struggles against the Pacers. He was a combined 3-of-21 from the field in the teams’ first two meetings.
Korver led Atlanta with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range. Guard Lou Williams came off the bench to score 18 points.
Atlanta (25-27) has lost a season-high six consecutive games. The skid began with an 89-85 home loss to the Pacers on Feb. 4.
NOTES: The Hawks dropped five straight heading into the All-Star break, scoring 85 points or fewer in four of the five games. … The Pacers and Hawks split their two previous meetings this season, both at Atlanta’s Phillips Arena. Pacers C Roy Hibbert scored a season-low two points in the Hawks’ 97-87 win on Jan. 8. … The Hawks began the night ranked first in the NBA in assists with 25.6 per game. Indiana led the NBA in team defense, allowing 90.3 points per game. … F DeMarre Carroll was not in the Hawks’ starting lineup due to a left hamstring injury. F Cartier Martin made his third start of the season. … Pacers recalled G Orlando Johnson from Fort Wayne of the NBA Development League. … Including Tuesday’s game, the Hawks play four games in five days, and the Pacers have three games in five days.
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