Game 3 showed that the Atlanta Hawks wouldn't go quietly in the 2013 Playoffs. Now the Hawks have the opportunity to draw even in the series if they can successfully hold serve at home in Game 4 Monday night.
The Hawks took advantage of some defensive adjustments and a raucous playoff crowd at Philips Arena to a blow out victory in Game 3. It was a start contrast from how the series had gone in Games 1 & 2 in Indianapolis. Now the challenge is sustaining that success and sending the series back to Indiana tied.
Prior to Game 3, Larry Drew elected to go with a bigger lineup that featured Johan Petro at center. That moved enabled him to matchup Josh Smith against Paul George who came in averaging 25 points a game over the first two including a triple-double in Game 1. Smith was able to make things difficult for George who shot 4-11 in Game 3 and finished with 16 points. Atlanta's entire defense responded holding the Pacers to a playoff franchise record 27 percent shooting.
Now it is Indiana's turn to make adjustments. The Pacers have lost 12 straight at Philips Arena including the playoffs and have been a much different team on the road where they finished 19-21 during the regular season.
In the first two games, Drew went with the smaller lineup in an effort to get the Hawks running. By going big in Game 3 it energized the defense and thus ignited the Atlanta running game. The Hawks turned the ball over 30 times in the first two games of the series. Indiana turned it over 22 times in Game 3 alone. The Pacers want to play selectively fast and the Hawks will need to once again do a good job of speeding them up to get out of Game 4 with another win.
11/7 - Hawks 89, Pacers 86 - Recap
12/29 - Hawks 109, Pacers 100 - Recap
2/5 - Pacers 114, Hawks 103 - Recap
3/25, Pacers 100, Hawks 94 - Recap
4/21, Game 1, Pacers 107, Hawks 90 - Game 1 coverage
4/24, Game 2, Pacers 113, Hawks 98 - Game 2 coverage
4/27, Game 3, Hawks 90, Pacers 69 - Game 3 coverage
Game date/time: Monday, April 29, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: NBA TV, Fox Sports South
Radio: 98.9 FM, NBA Audio League Pass, Sirius XM
Odds: The Atlanta Hawks are 1.5 point favorites at home over the Indiana Pacers in Game 4.