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Pacers Links: Hawks keep Pacers chasing in East

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The Pacers turned Philips Arena into a house of horrors once again by losing to the short-handed Hawks.

USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers appeared to have an advantage heading into their matchup with the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. The Hawks were missing three key players including Josh Smith while the Pacers were still just playing without Danny Granger.

Who knew the Pacers would be missing Roy Hibbert?

The fact Smith missed the game with a hip injury put center Zaza Pachulia in the starting lineup for Atlanta, which size wise is a better matcup for Atlanta. Turned out to be a talent advantage for the Hawks, as well. While Pachulia solidified the Hawks' inside presence with 17 points and 14 rebounds, Hibbert posted a miserable O-fer and according to Mike Wells, Big Roy's poor performance extended to the post-game locker room where he gave the cold shoulder to any inquiring media interested in hearing from the big fella.

Once again the Pacers can't put together a winning performance at Philips Arena. Yet, despite the poor play they still had their chances to sneak out a win in the fourth quarter but couldn't take advantage after cutting the double-digit deficit to three points. Against good teams that can execute down the stretch, making that late run to try and mask earlier issues is not such an easy proposition.

Now the Pacers will try to bounce back against the Memphis Grizzlies. They will need to try and play well for far more of the 48 minutes against the Grizz to give themselves a chance to win at home. It would also help if Hibbert showed up to play.

After the game, George Hill broke down the issues without sugar-coating the obvious.

"It's not really about Atlanta, it's about everybody in the league who has a winning record," Pacers point guard George Hill said. "We can say all we want that we're the best team in the NBA defensively, but until we get some wins against some good teams, none of that matters. We have to figure that out and everybody has to man up and figure out how we can make this team better."

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