Too much Paul George.
As much as the Hawks were at a height disadvantage, it was the Pacers’ All-Star who did the real damage.
George scored a game-high 29 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead a second-half charge as the Pacers defeated the Hawks 114-103 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Tuesday night.
The Hawks (26-21) have lost two straight and three of their past four games. They have now dropped eight of nine games on the road. The Hawks continue to slide down the Eastern Conference standings. They entered Tuesday’s game sixth in the Eastern Conference, but just one game ahead of Milwaukee, who played at the Nuggets.
In addition to the play of George, the Hawks sent the Pacers to the free-throw line 40 times. The Hawks out-rebounded the Pacers, 39-37, and limited Indiana to just five offensive rebounds.
“When I look at the stat sheet the most glaring thing is the free throws,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “We fouled way too much. From a game plan I think the guys came in and tried to execute the strategy, we just put them on the free-throw line way too many times. Twice we fouled them from the 3-point line. You don’t give yourself much of a chance when you put a team on the free-throw line 40 times.”
Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 24 points. Al Horford added 15 points and John Jenkins finished with 14 points. Johan Petro had a season-high 10 points. Josh Smith was held to nine points and 10 rebounds.
The Pacers (30-19) snapped a four-game losing streak to the Hawks. They have won four straight games in climbing to the top of the Central Division standings. It was also their 15th straight home victory this season.