Jeff Teague scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half as the Atlanta Hawks hand the Indiana Pacers a rare home defeat 107-88. Its the second straight impressive showing for Atlanta who now lead the New York Knicks by two full games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Much like Friday night, Atlanta jumped all over the Pacers in the first quarter. Atlanta opened up a 33-11 at the end of the first quarter after shooting 67 percent as compared to just 21 percent for the Pacers. Things didn't get any better for Indiana in the second as the Hawks continued to pour it on.
Atlanta led 55-23 at the break. Indiana went just 5-35 from the floor in the first half and set a franchise record for the fewest points in a half in the process.
Pero Antic wasn't even a guarantee to play prior to the game because of a sore ankle but helped set the tone early and scored a season-high 18 points on 7-8 shooting to go along with six rebounds.
The Pacers predictably made a charge in the third quarter and outscored Atlanta 36-24 to cut into the lead but the Hawks held strong and escaped with another confidence boosting win.
Teague led five different players in double figures with the Hawks with his 25 points. Paul Millsap briefly left the game during the third quarter with a thumb injury but later returned and finished with a double-double 17 points and 11 rebounds. Shelvin Mack stepped in with 13 points off the bench while Kyle Korver added 11.
Paul George led the Pacers with 18 points but was just 6-17 from the field. Roy HIbbert was held scoreless in the first half and didn't make an appearance in the second after joining the team's bench late coming out of halftime. The loss drops Indiana a full game behind the Miami Heat for the top spot in the East standings.
Atlanta will enjoy an off day on Monday before beginning a four games in five day stretch against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.