The final score isn’t indicative of the beat down that was handed out.
Atlanta rallied in the fourth quarter but couldn’t overcome a huge 28-point lopsided deficit as the short-handed Indiana Pacers, who were without four starters, held off the Hawks 100-94 Monday night.
George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Danny Granger and David West were all out for the Pacers due to injuries. Hill had a strained groin. Stephenson sat out with a sore left hip flexor. Granger still hasn’t returned from a sore left knee and West missed his fifth straight game with a lower back strain.
And yet, Indiana still had six players drop double-figures in a winning effort.
Gerald Green paced the Pacers with 19 points and six rebounds. Hibbert helped out with a 17-point, 13-rebound performance. Orlando Johnson (15) and Jeff Pendergraph (14) combined for 29 points on 12-of-22 shooting off the bench. Paul George added a modest 13 points and Tyler “Psycho T” Hansbrough rounded out the bunch with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Hawks, meanwhile, had a chance to clinch a playoff berth with a win and some help from the 76ers losing, but couldn’t even hold up their end of the bargain despite an easy winnable game.
Josh Smith led Atlanta with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting but only grabbed four boards in the game. Al Horford added 13 points and eight rebounds. Point guards Jeff Teague and Shelvin Mack each scored 10 points.