The Atlanta Hawks entered Monday night's game in Indiana looking for a seventh straight win, and the result was never really in doubt. Atlanta led by 20 points or more on multiple occasions, and that lofty margin was more than enough to hold off the Pacers by a final score of 108-92.
It was yet another positive start during this seven-game streak for Atlanta, as the Hawks scored the first 5 points of the night, on the way to a 24-14 advantage in the early going. The first quarter finished with a flurry (after Indiana responded a bit), and the good guys held a 10-point advantage after twelve minutes.
From there, the Hawks would build the lead to 17 points after back-to-back baskets from Thabo Sefolosha in the second quarter, and despite a 7-0 run from the Pacers to claw within 49-39 midway through the second quarter, there was another spurt coming from Atlanta. Al Horford, who had a big night, blocked a shot and Jeff Teague closed the half with a sprinting lay-up, and when the dust settled, the Hawks led by 17 points.
Atlanta continued their hot shooting from previous games with a 53% clip from the floor in the first half, but once again, ball security was also key. The Hawks committed only four turnovers in the first 24 minutes, and when you combine that with hot shooting (6-for-13 from three-point land), things are generally going well.
The second half brought much of the same, as the road team built a 21-point lead early in the third quarter. That margin would not grow by leaps and bounds in the period to the point where it doubled as the lead after the third quarter ended, but Indy would never mount a serious charge. The aforementioned Horford (19 points, 7 rebounds through three quarters) and Jeff Teague (18 points at this point)
To be honest, the fourth quarter wasn't smooth sailing for the full portion of twelve minutes, but it didn't matter much. Indiana's C.J. Miles connected on a four-point play with 8:11 left in the game to bring the Pacers within a second-half low 13 points at 92-79, but that would be as close as the home team would get to a comeback. Atlanta built the lead north of 20 again down the stretch, and utterly cruised to the final, 16-point margin at 108-92.
Al Horford has not been his normal, dominant self this season, but the All-Star big man was very good on this night. Horford led the team in scoring with 25 points on 9-for-18 shooting, and he also added eight rebounds and three blocks in a quality all-court performance. Horford was flanked by Teague, who finished with 21 points and 7 assists, and DeMarre Carroll was key on both ends, finishing with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals.
There was some worry that Atlanta could "run into the wall" during the second leg of a back-to-back on the road, but that never transpired. The Hawks shot 52% from the floor, 43% from three and racked up 27 assists, and while the ball security wasn't ideal (12 second-half turnovers), that would be nitpicking. Indiana certainly did not play well in their own right, making things easier for the Hawks, but this is yet another solid victory.
The Atlanta Hawks will look to extend this winning streak to eight games on Wednesday night, as they host the bottom-dwelling Philadelphia 76ers at Philips Arena for a 7:30 pm ET tip-off. Stay tuned.