The Hawks and Pacers met up in Indianapolis in a game almost everyone expected to challenge their last record-setting night earlier this season in a 157-152 regulation game in Atlanta.
The Hawks ran out of the gates with three early triples, including this early one from Jalen Johnson.
Jalen cashes an open shot early in this one. pic.twitter.com/wbKYdvj8iV— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) January 6, 2024
But the Hawks offense hit the skids midway through the first quarter and a figurative rock fight ensued for a stretch. The Pacers pulled ahead 33-18 with around two minutes left in the quarter and finished the quarter with a 38-24 edge.
The second quarter wasn’t much better, with the Hawks quickly finding themselves down as many as 20 points. They began to hold serve from there with the offense ticking upwards a bit, but they would have to sustain a level of better play until the end of the game to have a chance.
That did not happen.
Atlanta’s defense no showed in the first 24 minutes. As a result, Indiana continued to roll all the way until the end of the first half and the Hawks found themselves down 78-54.
The third quarter was also a sandwich of bad basketball between slices of bad basketball. Across the two halves, the Pacers put together a stretch of 15 consecutive made field goals. Clearly, this was not the greatest defensive effort Atlanta could have possibly brought to the Midwest.
The score was 117-83 heading into the final period — one that was sure to be without much drama at all.
The starters were pulled at around seven minutes left in the contest down by more than 30 points. AJ Griffin, Seth Lundy, and company saw the game out for the Hawks, who went on to lose 150-116.
Dejounte Murray finished with 30 points and two assists. The Hawks will try to forget this calamity tonight and regroup in Orlando on Sunday.