Indiana used a well-balanced attack from their triumvirate of doom: Roy Hibbert scored 18 points, David West added 24, and Paul George popped off across the board with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
It really was a total team effort for Indiana—five players scoring in double-figures, and five players picking up at least four fouls in a game chocked full of 'em.
Right from the get-go we had elbowing, shoving and just a ton of physical play from both sides. In other words, we picked up just where we left off.
For the first eight minutes of the first quarter, there was a lot of back-and-forth between Josh Smith and Roy Hibbert, each establishing the goal for their team early on.
The Hawks made a statement with a huge Josh Smith slam, doing their best to start to get penetration early on and set up a presence in the paint.
Those spot-up shooters never got working, but the Hawks uglied their way to a 22-21 lead after the first quarter.
Indiana used a combination of muscle and athleticism in the second quarter to take the lead, Paul George and David West doing the majority of the work for the team on the offensive end.
With those two awake and the defense still clicking, Indiana was off to the races. George took the game into his own hands with eight minutes to go in the third quarter on a single play. Smith had just picked up his fourth foul on a silly steal attempt, so George took the ball straight into him on the very next possession.
Smith was called for the foul, picked up a technical, and was sent to the bench for the remainder of the period.
While Smith wasn't necessarily taking it to the Pacers offensively, he was doing a terrific job defending on the perimeter, and he was the only Hawks player capable of getting much off the dribble after Teague tweaked his ankle.
Indiana took off after Smith left the game, getting up by as many as 20 at one point. But whistles completely slowed down the pace of the game, Frank Vogel earning a technical at one point.
The last three minutes of the quarter dragged out in a flurry of free throws, Atlanta cutting the lead down to 14 points.
Josh Smith came back into the game with eight minutes left in the fourth, Indiana up just 13 points. A foul on George shooting a three-pointer and some West work later and the lead was back to 18.
From there the Hawks never had a shot. After 54 fouls between the two teams, and amazingly not a single player fouling out, this one ended with the Hawks dropping Game 5 to the Pacers 106-83.
Josh Smith had a very Josh Smithy start to the game, forcing turnovers, getting huge dunks and making horrible decisions along the way.
Why did Josh Smith just throw the ball to his assistant coach?— SBNation NBA (@SBNationNBA) May 2, 2013
The one thing that remained a constant was the physicality. Both teams were mugging each other at every turn.
Watching Pacers-Hawks. Given his thoughts last night, Mark Jackson would consider this game to be the movie "Assassins." #jsmoovebanderas— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) May 2, 2013
With 12 points in just 14 minutes, Roy Hibbert was finally asserting himself in the post.
Roy Hibbert is playing like he *gasp* deserves a max contract.— Adam Fromal (@fromal09) May 2, 2013
Smith continued to produce for the Hawks, picking up 11 points, four steals and a block in the first two quarters. However, he wasn't happy after being called for a foul that sent him to the bench.
SMOOFFACE twitter.com/HPbasketball/s…— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) May 2, 2013
Our resident Hawks fan bemoaned Smith picking up two fouls and a technical in a span of about 30 seconds in the third quarter.
I can't wait for Josh Smith to wear a different uniform. Hell of a talent, but I'm so unbelievably done with him.— Adam Fromal (@fromal09) May 2, 2013
With the Pacers up by 20 late in the third quarter, the rest of the series started to look like a bit of torture.
The game was getting to the point where every other possession included a foul called, just increasing the edginess of everybody on the floor.
Hansborough might get in there. If he does, I'm certain there will be a new stat: Confirmed Kills. @8pts9secs— Matt Hollen (@MattTWSC) May 2, 2013
As the game slowed, Atlanta got some help being big from an unexpected source, just as they have all series long.
Kyle Korver rebounding and playing defense in this series is screwing with my brain.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) May 2, 2013
Four fouls called in the first minute of the fourth quarter set the pace for the rest of the game.
They're playing Fun. at this Pacers/Hawks game because irony that's why.
— Kelly Dwyer (@KDonhoops) May 2, 2013
Paul George just six fouls away from a triple double. Oh, wait... #AskPacers— Mark Montieth (@MarkMontieth) May 2, 2013
At the rate they were calling fouls near the beginning of the third quarter, George could have easily committed a foul worth six personal fouls in the eyes of the referees.
It really is amazing how much differently each of these teams play when they're at home compared to on the road. We've yet to see a single game decided by single-digits in this series, yet either team has showed that they can definitely take the series.
The Indiana Pacers kept their home-court advantage from swinging, taking down the Atlanta Hawks at home and setting up an elimination game in Atlanta on Friday.