Paul George scored 24 points, David West added 18 and the Indiana Pacers topped the Atlanta Hawks 91-88 at Philips Arena Saturday afternoon, tying their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series 2-2.
The Hawks led by as much as 10 in this game on two different occasions, but unlike Games 1 and 3, which resulted in losses for the Pacers, Indiana was able to climb out of the deficits, riding a 48.1 percent shooting clip and some stingy defense to a huge victory.
#Pacers Vogel: One of those games where you just had to find a way to win.— Conrad Brunner (@1070Bruno) April 26, 2014
The Pacers held Atlanta to 35.7 percent shooting, with Paul Millsap, who scored 29 points to lead all players, being the only consistent offensive threat of the day for the Hawks. Indiana also blocked 11 shots, with five players recording at least two swats.
The Pacers outscored Atlanta 49-40 in the second half to get the win.
"It's going to be a long series. This team's not going away, but we've just got to build some consistency." - Paul George— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 26, 2014
Vogel: "I thought our offensive motor improved… Our guys got out and played with force and thrust on the offensive end."— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 26, 2014
The pivotal Game 5 is Monday in Indiana at 8 p.m. ET.
Key Player Grades: Indiana Pacers
Paul George, Small Forward
Paul George's performance in Game 4 was very similar to what he was able to do in Game 2. He looked very confident offensively for most of the afternoon, draining shots with hands in his face and displaying great activity defensively.
The All-Star posted 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, going 10-of-18 from the floor. He did miss two free throws late that allowed the Hawks to tie the game with just under seven seconds left, but Atlanta could not take advantage, so it was no harm, no foul.
George also made four of his seven three-point tries in the win.
Roy Hibbert, Center
Roy Hibbert still isn't making much of an impact on the stat sheet, as he went for only six points and three rebounds in Game 4, but at least he was somewhat of a presence defensively. Hibbert blocked a couple of shots and altered a couple of others, mainly in the first half. He also had a strong move in the post during the first quarter, making you wonder why he can't do that more often.
Still, for an All-Star center who is supposed to be one of the top two players on a No. 1 seed, the fact that we're talking about Hibbert in a positive way after he went for only six points and three boards says quite a bit about just how poorly he has been playing.
He was also benched for the fourth quarter.
David West, Power Forward
David West was the clear-cut leader for the Pacers in Game 4. He demanded the ball in the post and tried to go to work down low as often as he could, attempting to bully whoever was defending him.
"I just wanted to make a play for the group, make a play for the team." - David West on his 3-pointer.— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 26, 2014
West scored 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting and hit a gigantic three-pointer to put Indiana up by four with a minute and a half left. To put the cherry on top, he came up with a big stop on Paul Millsap with eight seconds left, secured the rebound and got fouled.
West added five rebounds, three steals and two blocks to go along with his scoring output.
Vogel on David West (18 points): “Best will I’ve ever been around as a coach."— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) April 26, 2014
Lance Stephenson, Shooting Guard
The bad Lance Stephenson showed up in Game 4. He got frustrated after two early fouls and picked up a technical in the first quarter, and he was never really able to recover. The mercurial 2-guard scored five points off 2-of-9 shooting, going 1-of-7 from deep. He didn't even really try to get to the basket and seemed to settle for perimeter shots.
Stephenson was able to corral nine rebounds, but he made little to no impact offensively. He also committed four turnovers.
George Hill, Point Guard
After a miserable 1-of-11 outing in Game 3, George Hill rebounded in Game 4, putting together a much more efficient 5-of-8 shooting afternoon. He also went 2-of-4 from long distance.
Hill scored 15 points, above his season average of 10.3, and compiled four assists and three boards. Twelve of his 15 points came in the second half, including a huge layup to put the Pacers up by three with just under a minute to go. Not only that, but Hill did a fine job staying with Jeff Teague on the perimeter after having so much trouble with that coming into this game.
I always say the Pacers need to get more from Hill, and Saturday, he certainly came forward with a solid performance.
Evan Turner, Sixth Man
When the Pacers were stuck in the mud offensively during the first quarter, Evan Turner entered the game and really picked his team up. He scored seven points in the first period alone, burying a triple and doing some work in the post on Kyle Korver. He also made some great feeds to teammates, tallying three assists in that frame.
Turner would end up totaling 11 points and four dimes, all of which came in the first half. That's too bad too, because Indiana certainly could have used his offense over the final 24 minutes.
He went 4-of-8 from the floor in 21 minutes.
Indiana clearly missed C.J. Watson when he was out late in the year, and he showed flashes of why Saturday, making some big plays off the pine. The well-traveled guard registered six points, three assists and three rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench, getting a good chunk of burn in crunch time.
Luis Scola, who was brilliant in Games 2 and 3, was a bit inconsistent in Game 4, going 2-of-7 from the field and missing a layup that would have tied the game with three minutes to go. The Argentine ended up with four points and five rebounds in 21 minutes.
Ian Mahinmi labored defensively in 15 minutes, struggling to keep up with the quickness of Paul Millsap. He committed four fouls during his time on the floor, tallying two points and three boards.
Key Player Grades: Atlanta Hawks
Jeff Teague, Point Guard
Jeff Teague struggled to find his shot for most of this game, going 5-of-15 from the floor for 14 points. He wasn't able to get to the basket as frequently as he did in Atlanta's previous two series wins, and when he did, he was rarely able to finish.
He did hit a couple of big three-pointers during the fourth quarter, but his inability to create havoc in the lane weighed on the Hawks throughout.
Teague did a fine job distributing the ball, dishing out seven assists. He also hauled in six boards. He just couldn't put the ball in the hoop.
Paul Millsap, Power Forward
Paul Millsap was the best player on the floor in this contest. He came out hot right off the bat, scoring 12 points off 5-of-7 shooting in the first quarter alone as Indiana tried to find an answer for him.
Millsap continued to hurt the Pacers the rest of the way, despite picking up his fourth foul early in the third period. The big man finished with 29 points, scoring in a variety of ways. He hit threes, he got to the basket, he drew fouls and he converted more often than not, going 10-of-18 from the floor (3-of-6 from downtown) and hitting on all six of his three-point attempts.
Millsap also pulled down seven rebounds and blocked three shots in 37 minutes.
It's a shame all of that came in a loss.
Kyle Korver, Shooting Guard
While Kyle Korver missed several good looks from three-point range in Game 4, he had a very solid outing overall.
Most notably, Korver made a big impact on the glass, grabbing nine rebounds and getting many of them in traffic. The sharpshooter went 4-of-9 from the floor, making three of his eight long-distance attempts. He scored 15 points in 36 minutes.
DeMarre Carroll, Small Forward
DeMarre Carroll struggled in Game 4, going 1-of-6 from the floor and showing some sloppy tendencies offensively. There were a couple of instances where he held on to the ball far too long late in the shot clock and would have to fire up a contested heave.
Carroll grabbed seven rebounds and four assists, so his versatility allowed him to be productive in other areas, but he hurt Atlanta with his shot, and his defense on George wasn't as spectacular as it has been for most of this series.
Pero Antic, Center
For a big man who is known for being able to spread the floor, Pero Antic certainly has not made Indiana pay from beyond the arc in this series. After going 2-of-5 from three in Game 1, he has gone 1-of-12 since, including misfiring on all three of his long-range attempts Saturday afternoon.
Antic went 1-of-6 from the floor overall, registering only two points and two rebounds in 24 minutes. He did keep a couple of boards alive, and he played some decent post defense on Hibbert, so it wasn't all bad, but this definitely wasn't a sparkling performance for the Macedonian.
Lou Williams, Sixth Man
Lou Williams has always been a feast-or-famine-type of player offensively, and Game 4 was of the famine variety.
Williams took some unnecessary shots, going 2-of-7 from the floor and recording six points in 17 minutes. To his credit, he got after it defensively, racking up four steals, but he gave the Hawks very little elsewhere.
Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack both provided the Hawks with a huge lift in the second quarter, knocking down threes and getting out in transition. Scott and Mack did it in tandem too, with Mack making a beautiful feed to find Scott for a layup on the break.
Scott did get a little trigger-happy, though, as he ended up taking 15 shots in 25 minutes (he only made four). He scored 12 points.
Mack wound up with seven off a more efficient 3-of-6 clip. On top of that, though, the Butler product posted four assists and three rebounds without a turnover in 14 minutes.
Elton Brand played eight minutes, but the veteran forward didn't make a dent in the box score.