ATLANTA, Ga. – Responding from a disappointing loss can be tough. Especially for a younger team. The Indiana Pacers (18-14) did just that on Wednesday night, though, and they did it in convincing fashion.
Following Monday’s crushing loss to Boston, Indy cruised to a relatively easy 105-95 win over the Atlanta Hawks (7-24) at Phillips Arena.
Halfway through Wednesday’s contest, Indiana held a 53-51 lead at the half.
The Blue and Gold outscored Atlanta 28-27 in the first quarter, despite another slow start. The Hawks shot the ball well early on and led by as many as nine, but the Pacers ultimately overcame for the lead. Indy was one point better than the Hawks in the second period as well, edging the home team 25-24. A 8-2 run closed the frame and Victor Oladipo‘s bucket with 13 seconds remaining in the half handed the visitors the lead.
Each side had balanced scoring in Wednesday’s first half.
For the Pacers, seven players had four or more points and hit two or more shots. Bojan Bogdanovic made up for his costly error on Monday by leading Indiana with 11 points. As for Atlanta, six players scored at least five points. John Collins led the Hawks off of the bench with ten.
To open the second half, Indy played some good defense to build their lead. Atlanta scored just six points throughout the third quarter’s first 6:10, allowing the Pacers to stay in front. Despite the lockdown D, the Blue and Gold only outscored the Hawks 25-20 and went into the fourth with a 78-71 cushion.
That cushion would expand quickly, however, as the Pacers used a 7-2 run to start Wednesday’s final quarter. That got their advantage into double-figures and Indiana never looked back. Oladipo drained a three-pointer with 5:58 to go, giving the visitors a 15-point edge and essentially put the ballgame on ice.
Indy was able to stretch their lead to a game-high 20 points in the fourth before Atlanta ended the night on a 10-0 run, making the final score a bit more respectable.
Oladipo ended up leading the Pacers in scoring with 23 points. Myles Turner, with 20, and Bogdanovic’s 19 points help round out what was a very balanced night of offense.
The Pacers will next be in action on Saturday night, back in the Circle City. Indiana will take on the Brooklyn Nets, with tipoff slated for 7:00 p.m.