The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

April 25, 2013

George leads Pacers to 2-0 lead over Hawks

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

Everything seems to be clicking for Indiana after a late-season stumble to the finish.

"Not only were they being physical, but they were trying to our air space and trying to pressure us more defensively, trying to force more turnovers," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "We had less turnovers in Game 2 than we did in Game 1."

For the Hawks, their second straight double-digit loss means two more days of misery.

Following Game 1, coach Larry Drew chastised his players for their continual complaints about calls and their sub-par effort. The Hawks vowed to make amends Wednesday and they did play harder.

But, at times, it got them in trouble.

Atlanta's top scorer, Josh Smith, played with a sprained right ankle but wound up on the bench with two fouls barely 2 minutes into the game. He spent the rest of the game in foul trouble and finished with 16 points and six rebounds.

In the second quarter, an uncharacteristically angry Al Horford charged toward an official after being called for a technical foul. Devin Harris alertly grabbed Horford with both arms and pulled him away — a play that kept Horford and the Hawks in the game a bit longer. The Hawks' other big inside players, Johan Petro and Ivan Johnson, wound up in foul trouble in the second half, and the combination allowed Indiana to again shoot more free throws and again finish with the rebounding edge.

What can Atlanta do now?

At least the Hawks are heading home and will play the next two games in a venue where they have won 11 straight over the Pacers.

The bad news: Indiana seems to have an answer for anything Atlanta tries.

Harris led the Hawks with 17 points and Jeff Teague added 16.

"They handled their home court and now Game 3 is crucial for us, and now we have to handle ours," Horford said. "I think we need to have better ball movement on offense and I think we'll be all right."

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