Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Atlanta wanted to get tougher defensively after
getting blown out over their first two games in Indiana.
After a few lineup changes, that's exactly what the Hawks did.
Al Horford tallied a playoff career-high 26 points and 16 rebounds in the
Hawks' 90-69 rout of the Pacers in Game 3 of this Eastern Conference first-
Josh Smith added 14 points, six rebounds and six assists for Atlanta, which
will host Game 4 on Monday.
Indiana still leads the best-of-seven set 2-1.
The Pacers, who led the NBA in rebounding, held a 95-73 edge on the boards
through the first two games and outscored the Hawks by an average margin of 16
Paul George tallied a triple-double in Game 1 and responded with 27 more
points in Game 2. The Hawks, though, countered and took Kyle Korver out of the
starting lineup and replaced him by moving Smith from power forward to small
forward. Johan Petro started at center and Horford played power forward. After
seeing less than six minutes of floor time over the first two tilts, the 6-
foot-8 power forward Anthony Tolliver got 8:18 of playing time in the first
Petro played in just 31 games this season, but Atlanta didn't have many
options inside after rugged center Zaza Pachulia was lost for the year late in
the regular season after suffering an Achilles injury.
The changes panned out.
Especially in the first half.
The Hawks led by 24 at the break. They registered a 27-22 advantage on the
boards, had a 30-12 points in the paint edge, recorded 15 points off 12 Pacer
turnovers and held Indiana to just 23.8 percent (10-of-42) from the floor.
George finished with 16 points and nine boards for the Pacers, who had as many
turnovers (22) as made field goals.
Indiana has dropped 12 straight at Philips Arena.
The Pacers raced out to an 8-1 start, but an elongated 32-6 run that bled into
the second put the Hawks firmly in control.
Tolliver nailed a triple with two seconds left in the opening frame to give
Atlanta a 27-14 edge after one and Smith, who netted eight points during the
surge, capped it with a pair of free throws and a jumper on back-to-back
possessions to propel the Hawks to a 33-14 margin.
Devin Harris' behind-the-back pass to a trailing Smith on a fastbreak later in
the stanza led to him throwing down a thunderous left-handed slam to increase
the lead to 49-23, Atlanta's largest of the opening 24 minutes.
The Hawks headed into the locker room with a 54-30 cushion.
The margin reached its peak at 28 in the third before Atlanta took a 75-49
advantage in the fourth, where Indiana never cut the deficit below 18.
Hawks point guard Jeff Teague left the contest late in the first half with a
right elbow injury. He was writhing in pain underneath the Hawks basket after
taking a hard spill to the floor following a drive to the bucket. He returned
for the start of the second half ... Indiana shot 27.2 percent (22-of-81) from
the field and 16 percent (4-of-25) from beyond the arc ... Tolliver played
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