The Atlanta Hawks allowed the Indiana Pacers cut a 30-point lead all the way down to nine in the fourth quarter, but the Hawks were able to hold on for a 107-97 win and take a 3-2 series lead on Monday night.
The Hawks were led by their bench – Shelvin Mack scored 20 points and dished out five assists while Mike Scott scored 17. Four of their starters – Paul Millsap (18), Kyle Korver (16), DeMarre Carroll (15) and Jeff Teague (12) – also scored in double figures.
Paul George scored 26 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out six assists and recorded six steals to lead the Pacers while David West, George Will and Lance Stephenson each had 16 points. C.J. Watson finished with 15.
Roy Hibbert was a disaster once again, going scoreless with four fouls in only 12 minutes.
After a fairly even first quarter, the Hawks scored the first 13 points of the second quarter, with 12 of them coming on three-pointers from Scott, to take a 12-point lead. They continued to dominate the quarter, outscoring the Pacers 41-19 to turn a one-point deficit into a 21-point lead. Things got worse for the Pacers in the third quarter as they saw the Hawks push the lead to 30, 80-50.
The Hawks shot 15-of-27 from beyond the arc (55.6%) and got to the free throw line 33 times, knocking down 26.
The Pacers we able to get it down to 20 by the end of the quarter and continued to chip away in the fourth quarter. They used timely shooting from two unexpected contributors, Watson and Chris Copeland, cutting the lead to nine with just over four minutes to play, but the Pacers just didn’t have enough to cut the deficit any further and the Hawks will return home with a chance to finish the Pacers off.
Game 6 is Thursday night at Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia and is on NBA TV.