The Indiana Pacers defense has been much improved in stretches tonight, holding the Atlanta Hawks under 50 points for the first time all series, keeping them in check at 37.5%. The Pacers and Hawks fought throughout the first quarter before Indiana took the lead for the rest of the half behind David West, who had 16 first half points on 8-10 shooting. West's play has been helped by Roy Hibbert, who has 14, including 8-8 from the free throw line.
The Pacers rebounding has been a big edge, limiting the Hawks on the offensive glass. The Pacers did commit 10 first half turnovers, leading to 11 Atlanta points. Josh Smith continues his improved level of play with another strong first half, scoring 11 with four steals, but has been held to just 4-11 shooting. Smith hasn't gotten a lot of help offensively from his teammates, as Devin Harris has eight.