The Atlanta Hawks met the Indiana Pacers for the second and final time this season at State Farm Arena. The Pacers were without the services of star guard Tyrese Haliburton, representing an opportunity for another needed win.
Clint Capela got off to a quick start as he was responsible for Atlanta’s first six points. His first two finishes at the rim are below.
CC starts things off with 2 buckets in his return to the lineup pic.twitter.com/amWfMM9tez— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) January 13, 2024
After a quick timeout from Indiana head coach Rick Carlisle, the Pacers punched back, and a back-and-forth struggle ensued. Atlanta’s defense was a step slow for the remainer of the quarter and allowed too many easy buckets. Quin Snyder was forced to call a timeout of his own with his team trailing 24-16.
The Hawks roared back with some deep bombs to make it a game again. Trent Forrest did his part as well, with a nice steal and transition bucket below.
The Hawks never slowed down the Pacers, however, allowing 16-for-19 (84%) shooting from the field leading to a 34-30 deficit after 12 minutes.
The Pacers refused to miss from the field from there, opening up a double-digit lead in a hurry in the second quarter. Atlanta made it easy to be sure, offering little in the way of stopping them from entering the paint at will.
Late in the quarter, however, the Hawks stringed together some stops and buries some threes to slash the deficit in a major way. This Johnson to Murray feed in transition certainly helped the effort.
After one half, the Pacers led 68-62. Atlanta allowed the visitors to shoot 31-for-46 (67%) from the field in the first half, but they did also force 11 turnovers and hit seven threes on the other end to make it a real contest at the break.
After halftime, the Pacers once again surged to a double-digit lead, this time behind three-pointers and defensive stops. With Trae Young having an off night, Dejounte Murray carried the scoring burden for the Hawks. Murray finished the quarter 5-for-5 from the field for 11 points, but the rest of the Hawks were just 3-for-14 for eight points.
Atlanta’s offense clearly went cold in the third period, and as a result the Hawks were buried in a deep hole heading into the final 12 minutes down 99-81.
In the final quarter, it was unfortunately more of the same with disjointed offense at times and very little defensive resistance. Atlanta never cut the lead to single digits and with a game tomorrow night, the team closed with their deep reserves. Atlanta ultimately fell, 126-108.
Dejounte Murray led the charge with 29 points and four assists. Still, his performance wasn’t nearly enough to overcome the team allowing 53-for-79 (67%) shooting from the field on the defensive end. The Hawks will have a chance to bounce back quickly tomorrow at home against the Washington Wizards.