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NBA -- Pacers dispose Hawks, advance to Round 2


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- The rugged Indiana Pacers defense held the Atlanta Hawks to nine second quarters points and 26 of 78 shooting from the field overall to score an 81-73 victory Friday night at the Philips Arena in Atlanta.

With the defensive gem, the Pacers closed out the series, 4-2, and setting up a second round showdown against the New York Knicks, who disposed the Boston Celtics in six games also on Friday night. Game 1 of the Knicks-Pacers series begins with Game 1 Sunday at the Madison Square Garden.

"We finally got the monkey off our back in this building. We were more physical and made them take tough shots. We're happy but we have another game in less than 48 hours," Pacers guard George Hill told the Associated Press as Indiana snapped a 13-game losing streak at the Philips Arena.

Hill finished with 21 points and David West added another 21 with seven rebounds. Center Roy Hibbert tallied a solid double-double with 17 and 11 rebounds and the Pacers crushed the boards with a 53-35 rebounding edge. The Pacers were abysmal from beyond the 3-point arc -- 3-for-15 -- but they made a decent 32 of their 76 field goals.

Al Horford paced Atlanta with 15 points and seven rebounds while power forward Josh Smith, an impending unrestricted free agent who may have played his last game in a Hawks uniform, finished with 14 and nine rebounds. (Homer D. Sayson)

Photo: Guard Lance Stephenson scores an uncontested 2 en route to the Indiana Pacers' victory over the Atlanta Hawks at the Philips Arena.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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