It was all about the deep ball for the Hawks.
Atlanta made seven 3-pointers in the first half and four more in the second half to shoot past the Indiana Pacers 102-91 in Game 4 Monday night.
The Hawks tied the best-of-seven series at two games apiece, while handing Indiana their 13th straight loss in Philips Arena.
Josh Smith led the charge by scoring a playoff career-high 29 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, while adding four assists, three steals and one block in 43 minutes of action. He had a stellar first half scoring 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting with six rebounds, but cooled off after halftime and shot 3-of-10 in the second half.
But don’t let that fool you, J-Smoove made all the big plays down the stretch. He sank a 3-pointer, came up with an offensive rebound to set up a triple by Kyle Korver, then finished off a fast break with a strong right-handed slam dunk.
Smith led the Hawks in minutes, points, rebounds, steals and was tied for the team-high in blocks. He also hit majority of his free-throws going 9-of-16 from the line overall.
Al Horford had 18 points, five boards and four assists. Jeff Teague tallied 13 points and six assists.
Korver and Anthony Tolliver came off the bench and put on a shooting clinic from 3-point range drilling a combined 8-of-11 from downtown. Korver finished with 19 points and five boards, while Tolliver finished with nine points.
The Pacers controlled an early 21-14 lead with 2:33 in the first quarter, but Atlanta responded with an 8-0 spurt to end the period leading by one. That spurt then erupted to a 25-3 run, spewing over into the second period. Lance Stephenson’s triple at the 5:56 mark shrunk the Hawks’ lead to eight points. J-Smoove returned the favor with a trey of his own, but D.J. Augustin countered for Indiana with another 3 on the following possession.
The Hawks closed out the half on a 13-4 run and led 57-40 at the break.
Indiana came storming back in the second half and managed to cut the deficit down to seven points at the end of the third quarter.
Atlanta went ice cold when Horford had to exit the game at the 8:25 stamp after he picked up his fourth foul. The team only made three baskets in the period. Horford got a dunk at the 10:04 mark, which put the Hawks up 62-46, and then they didn’t hit another shot from the field until Harris’ jumper with 1:34 left in the period to make the score 69-61.
The Pacers kept scrapping away in the fourth. Paul George hit a jumper with 1:46 remaining in the game to trim the score down to 92-87.
But that was as close as Indiana would get.
Horford and Smith each hit a basket in the following 22 seconds to give the Hawks a nine-point edge with 1:07 left. Atlanta then hit 6-of-6 free-throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
All five starters for the Pacers were in double-figures.
Paul George led the way and scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half after having just three points on one-of-five shooting in the first half. He added 12 rebounds and four steals (both game-highs) to his stat line.
David West dropped 15 points on 14 shot attempts, Roy Hibbert racked up 14 points and seven boards, George Hill had 12 points with six assists, and Lance Stephenson quietly had a solid game narrowly missing a triple-double with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists.
Indiana’s bench combined for only 19 points. Kyle Korver scored that much for Atlanta single handily.
The Pacers outscored the Hawks 42-28 in the paint.
Atlanta’s defense limited the opposition to shot under 31% from the perimeter and under 39% overall.
Game 5 is Wednesday night in Indiana at 8:00 PM (ET) and will be televised on NBA TV.