The Atlanta Hawks jumped out to a big first half lead and then had to grind it out in the second half on their way to a 102-91 win over the Indiana Pacers. The win ties the series at 2-2 and guarantees that there will be one more game at Philips Arena in Game 6.
The Hawks used an early 16-1 run during the first and second quarter to build as big as a 19 point lead. Things looked a lot like they did in Game 3 with the Hawks swarming on defense and turning Indiana turnovers and missed shots into scoring opportunities at the other end.
Foul trouble caught up with Atlanta in the third as Al Horford headed to the bench with his fourth at the 8:25 mark. Indiana outscored Atlanta 22-12 in the period and cut a 17 point halftime deficit to just seven points at the start of the fourth quarter. Atlanta hit just 3-20 shots in the third and were 0-8 from beyond-the-arc.
Horford returned in the fourth playing all 12 minutes and leading the Hawks with 10 points in the period. Indiana got to within five points but back-to-back threes from Josh Smith and Kyle Korver pushed the Hawks lead back to nine and they would go on to grab the victory.
Smith led the way for Atlanta setting a playoff career high with 29 points on 9-20 shooting. Smith went 9-16 at the free throw line and led the Hawks with 11 rebounds and three steals. Smith once again was able to slow down Paul George who got off to a slow start before coming alive in the second half when foul trouble dictated that Smith move back to the power forward position.
Kyle Korver came off the bench to score 19 points including five threes. Horford finished with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists. Jeff Teague finished with 13 points and six assists.
George scored 14 of his team best 21 points in the fourth quarter. He also led the Pacers in rebounding with 12 and recorded four steals. David West added 15 points while Roy Hibbert finished with 14 and seven rebounds. George Hill chipped in 12 while Lance Stephenson finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Once again Atlanta's free throw shooting nearly came back to hurt them at the end. The Hawks made just 12-20 through the first three quarters and were 13-18 in the fourth quarter alone.
The series will now shift back to Indiana for Game 5 where the Hawks have lost four straight this season on Wednesday. Game 6 will be back at Philips Arena on Friday.