ATLANTA — The Indiana Pacers have altered who they are, going to a opposite character in hopes of flourishing a opening turn of a playoffs.
No matter what, they can always count on David West.
With a top-seeded Pacers staid for an early summer, West fearlessly led a 16-4 run to finish a game, fluctuating a deteriorate with a 95-88 feat opposite a Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night.
“He’s a rock,” Indiana manager Frank Vogel said. “There’s no other approach to put it.”
Trailing 3-2 after losing during home for a second time in a best-of-7 series, Indiana was in large difficulty when a Hawks pushed out to an 84-79 lead with usually over 3 mins remaining, cheered on by a rough throng that hardly sat down in a second half.
But, for a fourth time in this back-and-forth affair, a highway group won.
West seemed to make each large play down a stretch, scoring 4 true points and forcing a outrageous turnover to start a turnaround. He strike dual some-more baskets in a final notation to hang things up, finishing with 24 points.
Game 7 is Saturday in Indianapolis.
“When a group is creation runs like that, an 8 seed perplexing to strike off a one seed in their building and a place is erupting on each play, we have a man with a restraint to settle everybody down,” Vogel said.
Paul George also scored 24 points for a Pacers, creation 4 true giveaway throws to assistance deflect off a group that was perplexing to turn usually a sixth No. 8 seed to win a playoff series.
The Pacers went with a smaller-than-usual lineup most of a game, anticipating to compare adult improved with Atlanta swelling a justice and sharpened a garland of 3-pointers. Roy Hibbert remained a starting center, though played usually about 12 mins for a second diversion in a row. Ian Mahinmi played scarcely twice as long, giving Indiana some-more mobility in a lane, while C.J. Watson and Chris Copeland also got endless minutes.
It worked. Atlanta bogged down offensively and done usually 9-of-35 from over a arc.
“We attempted some opposite lineups,” West said. “Coach rolled a dice.”
West came adult large all over a court, also heading a Pacers with 11 rebounds and 6 assists, not to discuss a integrate of steals.
“I told a guys, `If worse comes to worse, we’ve got to play park basketball,”‘ he said.
Atlanta, personification maybe a biggest home playoff diversion given a 1980s, looked as if it was on a verge of a outrageous jubilee when a invulnerability sagged and Jeff Teague knocked down a jumper with 3:16 to go.
But, led by West, a Pacers showed some of a solve they’ve lacked in a late-season swoon. After swishing a span of giveaway throws, he hustled behind to strike a round divided from Atlanta’s Pero Antic. Making certain Indiana took advantage of a turnover, West quietly done a jumper from a tip of a key.
Paul Millsap missed during a other end, and George Hill detonate into a line to dump one in. Just like that, a Pacers were behind adult 85-84 with 1:58 remaining.
Antic tied it for a final time, 85-all, on a giveaway chuck with 1:24 remaining. But that was it for a Hawks.
West strike another jumper to put a Pacers forward for good. Then, entrance off a timeout, Lou Williams gathering underneath a basket and attempted to chuck an opening pass to Teague; instead, a round went right to George. He was immediately fouled, done both giveaway throws, and Teague missed again for a Hawks after a shining night to sign it for a Pacers.
Teague scored 29 points, scarcely pulling out a feat on a night when Atlanta shot usually underneath 36 percent.
“Nobody’s going to lay down and usually concede their deteriorate to be over with,” Williams said. “Especially with a form of basketball group that they are. we consider they usually did a good pursuit of usually fighting during that three-minute symbol and done a plays that we didn’t.”
The bruising array scarcely incited nauseous nearby a finish of a initial half. Scott doled out an bend to Hill, and a Pacers ensure responded with a shove. The refs jumped in fast and no punches were thrown. After primarily job a tainted on Hill, a officials got together and altered it to Scott. The throng booed lustily, though it seemed to be a scold call.
Replays seemed to uncover a integrate of Indiana players stepping over a dais area, though they didn’t get concerned and Vogel pronounced he didn’t design any fortify from a joining for Game 7.
Millsap and Williams were a usually other Atlanta players in double figures, both with 16 points. … Lance Stephenson scored 21 points for a Pacers. … Millsap had 18 rebounds.