With the ball and a chance to take the lead in the final minute, Tyrese Haliburton was off on a pull up three, eventually leading to an over the back foul by Oshae Brissett against Trae Young. That would stall the comeback attempt by the Indiana Pacers, as the Atlanta Hawks held on for the win.
The Pacers trailed by 12 halfway through the fourth, doing an impressive job climbing back into the game. It was a bit of a surprising comeback given what the Hawks had in store for the Pacers in the first half, hitting 13 threes, seven of those coming from Young, as he dropped 33 of Atlanta’s 77 first half points.
Though Indiana shot 50% themselves from deep, it was too much for them to handle, trailing by 18 at the break. Young’s finish to the half, including four triples in the final five minutes, was enough for Rick Carlisle to call an audible in the second half as the Pacers did a much better job picking up and denying Young, stifling Atlanta’s offense just enough for Indiana to chip into the lead.
Brissett put in three straight threes midway through the third to make it a seven point game, but that would be as close as Indiana would get in the third. After doing a solid job removing Young as a scorer, his playmaking woke up to help push the lead back out to double figures. He’d score the final four of the quarter for Atlanta, making it a 105-92 game heading into the fourth.
A lot of the comeback was helped along by Haliburton stepping up as a scorer in the second half. After scoring 10 in the first three quarters, he opened the fourth with seven to help keep the game at around 10 before the late game surge. Indiana outscored Atlanta 12-3 after the six minute mark of the quarter, getting back-to-back threes from Jalen Smith and Haliburton to cut it to three.
The Hawks stalled Indiana’s comeback, scoring the next four. The Pacers responded with five straight, but without time on their side, the Haliburton miss and inability to bring in the offensive rebound proved costly, setting up Young and the Hawks to ice the game at the line.
For as bad as the first half was defensively, the Pacers did a much better job in the second half, outscoring the Hawks 69-54, limiting Young to 14 second half points, closer to his average compared to the career best 33 he posted in the first half. They held the Hawks to 49% shooting in the second half and perhaps most importantly, 3-16 from three, though each of those three were killers to Indiana’s comeback attempt.
The Pacers played had just eight available players tonight, but the most out of nearly all of them, with seven players scoring in double figures. Indiana won the battle on the glass, pulling in 15 offensive boards and outscoring the Hawks 20-10 in second chance points. Unfortunately that advantage was wiped away with Atlanta holding a 23-12 advantage in points off turnovers.
Haliburton and Hield led the way for the Pacers with 25 points each. Haliburton had 21 in the second half, hitting three threes. He finished with a 10 assist double double, but had another bad night with turnovers, committing five. His turnover numbers with the Pacers have been astronomical of late, this being his seventh straight game with at least four miscues, nearly doubling his season average with Sacramento.
Hield meanwhile led the way in the first half, scoring 16 of his 25 before the break. He continues to move the ball well though, dishing five assists, tripling his own season average with Sacramento. Hield hit a pair of threes, but assisted on three, including two of Brissett’s hat trick in the third.
Brissett finished with 15 points on 5-8 shooting, pulling in four rebounds. Terry Taylor also had four boards, three on the offensive end as he finished with 16, hitting a three pointer of his own. Isaiah Jackson did well to stay out of foul trouble with very little help coming off the bench, scoring 12 with 15 rebounds (six offensive).
Jackson played extremely well alongside Smith, who also had a double double on rebounds of 13 & 10. He had four offensive boards, the two even tag teaming on an eventual two points by volleying offensive boards to the other. Duane Washington Jr. led the way off the bench wit h22 points, hitting 4-9 from deep to cap off a solid 15-35 shooting night from Indiana despite the Hawks finishing with two more on a better percentage even with their poor second half. Oh well.
The Pacers split their two game road trip and will have another light workload this week, playing just two games before next Sunday. They’ll be at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Tuesday between all of the NCAA action when they host the Memphis Grizzlies for the first time this year before getting an extra day before a one game trip down to Houston.