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Paul Millsap, Dwight Howard lead Hawks over Pacers

Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard combine for 41 points and 31 rebounds as the Hawks defeat the Pacers 96-85.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks got their road trip off on a good note thanks to big performances from Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard in a 96-85 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Millsap and Howard were the story in this one as they helped Atlanta to a 48-34 advantage in points in the paint. Howard set the tone early with 10 points and seven rebounds in the first quarter on his way to a 23 points, 20 rebound performance.

The Hawks used a 10-2 run to start the second quarter to push the lead to as many as 17 before the Pacers fought back. Indiana closed the half with a 16-4 run to cut the deficit to 49-44 at the break.

That trend continued in the second half as Atlanta would stretch out the lead only to watch the Pacers chip away. Indiana cut the lead to a single point in the third but Millsap helped the Hawks close the quarter strong to maintain a 74-66 advantage.

Millsap did a bit of everything for Atlanta stuffing the stat sheet with 18 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocked shots.

The Hawks pushed the lead out to as many as 20 in the fourth but Indiana had one more run in them. Paul George cut the lead to 92-85 with a three-pointer with 1:23 remaining. However, Malcolm Delaney answered at the other end with a pull up jumper and closed things out with a pair of free throws to seal the win.

Atlanta dominated the glass with a 56-37 advantage and finished with a 19-11 advantage in second-chance points.

Delaney and Mike Muscala finished with 13 points each off the bench.

Thaddeus Young led the Pacers with 24 points while Monta Ellis added 19. George finished with 18 but was just 6 for 22 from the field. The Hawks found their defensive rhythm late holding Indy to just 26 percent shooting in the fourth quarter.

With the win, Atlanta snaps a three-game losing streak and improves to 10-5 on the season. They will continue their road trip on Friday with a stop in Utah to face the Jazz.