Missions accomplished: Pacers make playoffs, Hawks unscathed


The Pacers had one goal. Win to make the playoffs.

The Hawks had one goal. Escape without any injuries.

Missions accomplished.

The Pacers defeated the bubble-wrapped Hawks 104-86 in the regular-season finale Wednesday at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers clinched the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Hawks clinched the No. 5 seed on Tuesday and played without Paul Millsap, Dwight Howard, Kent Bazemore, Dennis Schroder and Tim Hardaway Jr.

The Hawks will open the playoffs at the No. 4 Wizards with Game 1 on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Washington, D.C. The game will be televised by TNT. The remainder of the schedule will be released later Wednesday night.

The Pacers led by as many as 18 points before the Hawks made it interesting with a fourth-quarter run. The Hawks closed within eight points, 92-84, with 5:32 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Ryan Kelly. The Pacers answered with a 12-2 run with Paul George scoring eight of the points and the must-win was again safe.

The Hawks (43-39) had a four-game win streak snapped in the meaningless game. They will open the playoffs against the Wizards this weekend.

Ersan Ilyasova led the Hawks with 15 points. Jose Calderon added 12 points.

The Pacers (42-40) won their fifth straight to end the regular season and earn the postseason berth.

George led the Pacers with a double-double of 32 points and 11 rebounds. Former Hawks player Jeff Teague added 19 points before leaving late in the game after rolling his ankle.

The Pacers controlled most of the game grabbed an unsurmountable lead in the third quarter. They led by as many as 18 points. They started the period on a 13-4 run and never looked back. Teague scored 14 points in the quarter and the Pacers led 84-68 going into the fourth.

The Pacers led by as many as 11 points in the first half and took a 50-43 lead into intermission. They used an 11-0 run between the first and second quarters to grab a double-digit lead. The Pacers led 32-21 before the Hawks got within two points with a 13-4 run. Kris Humphries missed two free throws that would have tied the game and the Pacers scored the next seven points to regain a sizeable advantage.

George had 14 first-half points for the Pacers, including four 3-pointers.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Hawks

Hawks assign rookie John Collins to Erie
Hawks assign rookie John Collins to Erie

The Atlanta Hawks announced Tuesday rookie forward/center John Collins was assigned to the Erie BayHawks, the Hawk’s NBA G League affiliate. Collins will miss his sixth-straight game with a shoulder injury he suffered against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 30.  Collins was ruled out earlier Tuesday from playing against the Cavaliers on...
I don’t get why Hawks coach Budenholzer benched Schroder
I don’t get why Hawks coach Budenholzer benched Schroder

Hawks guard Dennis Schroder and coach Mike Budenholzer during happier times. (AP Photo) NEW YORK–Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer benched Dennis Schroder for the final eight-plus minutes against the Knicks last night. I watched a replay of the fourth quarter and I still don’t get it. After the game, Budenholzer essentially said...
Ten observations from Hawks loss at Knicks
Ten observations from Hawks loss at Knicks

Game preview: Hawks at Knicks
Game preview: Hawks at Knicks

Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis lost to Lauri Markkanen and the Bulls on Saturday. (AP Photo) When/where: 7:30 p.m. today, Madison Square Garden TV: Fox Sports Southeast Stream: Fox Sports Go Radio: 92.9 The Game Injuries: Hawks— John Collins (shoulder), Dewayne Dedmon (leg) and Mike Muscala (ankle) are out; Luke Babbitt (back) is probable...
NBA draft lottery watch: Bulls gain separation from Hawks
NBA draft lottery watch: Bulls gain separation from Hawks

Nikola Mirotic is set to return for the Bulls but it probably won’t help much. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) The rebuilding Hawks largely will depend on the draft to add talent but they have plenty of competition in the race to the bottom of the NBA standings and thus the best odds in the draft lottery. The stakes are high...
More Stories