National Basketball Association
Indiana at Atlanta
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, May 3, 2013
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
The Atlanta Hawks have looked like a much better team at home in their first-round series with the Indiana Pacers. If they want to extend the series to a Game 7, they had better continue to show that form when the series shifts back to Atlanta for Game 6 on Friday. The Pacers have easily won their three home games but averaged 80 points in two losses on the road while getting manhandled defensively.
The Hawks ran into foul trouble and lost their composure in Game 5, drawing five technical fouls and letting the game slip away in the third quarter after Josh Smith picked up two quick personal fouls and a technical and had to sit. Indiana took advantage and spread a seven-point halftime lead out to 20 during the period before cruising to a 106-83 victory. The home team has taken each of the five games in the series by double figures, with the Pacers averaging 108.7 points at home and the Hawks stifling them in Atlanta.TV:
7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Indiana, SportSouth (Atlanta), ESPN2ABOUT THE PACERS:
Indiana got back to doing what it had done in the first two games in Game 5, going to the inside and leaning on Paul George when necessary. After getting knocked around in Atlanta, the Pacers were clearly the aggressors in their own building and knocked the Hawks out of the post and out of the game. David West had been struggling in the series but found a rhythm in Game 5 with some strong post moves and an 18-foot jumper that Atlanta struggled to defend. George only took eight shots but hit seven of them en route to 21 points and 10 rebounds. “We needed to re-establish our confidence,” Indiana coach Frank Vogel said after Game 5. “We’re still a young team. We needed to re-establish our ability to slow them down.” The Pacers did just that in Game 5 by keeping Al Horford and Smith out of the paint for the easy baskets that had helped even the series.ABOUT THE HAWKS:
Atlanta is on the brink of elimination but can point to a 13-game winning streak over the Pacers in its building as evidence that it is not yet out of the series. The Hawks totaled four field goals in the third quarter on Wednesday and both Smith and Horford, who scored 14 points apiece to lead the team, were non-factors on the inside. Atlanta had become the aggressors in the series by moving Johan Petro into the starting lineup to feature a bigger unit in Games 3 and 4. The Hawks kept that rotation in Game 5 but were outrebounded 51-28 and outscored in the paint 36-28. After shooting 43 percent or better in the first four games, Atlanta slumped to 33.3 percent in Game 5. As Horford and Smith struggled on the inside, Devin Harris and Jeff Teague could not pick up the slack on the perimeter and combined to go 6-for-25 from the field.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Pacers are shooting 47.4 percent in the series at home and 32.7 percent on the road.
2. Horford averaged 22 points and 10.5 rebounds in Games 3 and 4 at home.
3. George has at least 16 points and eight rebounds in every game of the series.PREDICTION:
Pacers 92, Hawks 89
Stats and Records