Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 109, Pacers 100 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting. Here is the updated game story from Saturday’s win over the Pacers. I got some really great stuff from Lou Williams on being in the starting lineup. Look for that story tomorrow.

There was no need for a 14-point fourth-quarter comeback this time.

The Hawks jumped out early and cruised to a 109-100 victory over the Pacers Saturday night at Philips Arena.

The Hawks had to erase a big deficit for a victory over the Pacers on Nov. 7. That was not the case on this night – thanks in large part to Zaza Pachulia. The center stepped in for the short-handed Hawks and delivered with a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds.

“I’m trying to do my best every game,” Pachulia said. “I’m a role player. I’m trying to do my duty. I’m trying to do the things the coaches expect from me and my teammates as well.”

The Hawks (19-9) played without leading scorer Josh Smith, Anthony Morrow and Devin Harris due to injury. Still, they led by as many as 18 points for their fourth straight victory. The Hawks, third in the Eastern Conference have won four straight and 11 in a row at Philips Arena against the Pacers.

Lou Williams had a career-high 12 assists to go with 21 points for his first ever points-assists double-double. The Hawks also got double-digit scoring from Al Horford (20), Kyle Kover (16), Jeff Teague (15) and rookie John Jenkins (career-high 10). Ten of Teague’s points came late in the fourth quarter.

“I don’t think that is our focus,” Williams said when asked if the Hawks are respected league-wide. “I think it’s just to continue to come out and win games. We prefer to fly under the radar. I’m sure when teams come in here they realize they are playing a good basketball team. In the locker room we understand that. That is the only thing that matters.”

The Pacers (17-13), fourth in the East, had a four-game win streak snapped and lost for only the second time in nine games. David West led the way with a game-high 29 points.

The Pacers used an 18-8 run to start the fourth quarter to cut their deficit to three points, 91-88. But the Hawks answered with a 10-2 run to re-gain some breathing room.

Pachulia got the start in place of Smith to counter the Pacers’ 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert. The Hawks limited the big man to no points and one rebound.

“Just be physical with him,” Pachulia said on stopping Hibbert. “Don’t give any ground. Don’t let him take position early or in transition. That was one of the keys and I think we did a good job.”

Pachulia spoke post-game with a long scratch near his right eye, a battle scar from the night.

“DeShawn (Stevenson) says if I’m not bleeding, I’m not playing,” Pachulia said.

The Hawks led 55-48 at halftime after shooting 61.5 percent from the field (24 of 39). They led by as many as 11 points, late in the second quarter, but took control of the first half in the opening period.

The Hawks used an 11-2 first-quarter run to open up a nine-point lead. In a key sequence, rookie John Jenkins fed Horford for a layup and after an immediate steal buried a 3-pointer for a 29-20 lead.

“Man, it feels great,” Jenkins said. “I’m not an express-my-emotions type of guy but it definitely feels good to go out there and make shots.”

A 3-pointer by Williams with 3:39 remaining in the first quarter gave the Hawks a 21-18 lead, an advantage they would never surrender.

Horford finished with 14 first-half points but the Hawks got major contributions from their bench. Jenkins tied his career high of eight points in the opening half. Pachulia, who did start at center, had eight points and seven rebounds. Even Johan Petro chipped in with four points in the first 24 minutes. Ivan Johnson finished the game with six points coming off a missed game due to a stomach illness.

“That is two games in a row that we got big, big production from our bench,” coach Larry Drew said. “I thought our bench came in and did a phenomenal job.”

The Hawks used a 14-2 run in the third quarter to push their lead to 18 points.

For the Hawks it was their second game in a stretch of four games in four cities in five nights. After a travel day Sunday, the Hawks play at the Rockets Monday and at the Hornets Tuesday.

- Chris Vivlamore

LATEST NEWS

* Smith out vs. Pacers

* Hawks 102, Cavaliers 94

* Drew acknowledges Smith’s ‘poor shot selection’ late vs. Pistons

* Johnson doubtful vs. Cavs with stomach illness

* Drew speaks to Teague about energy level

* Hawks 126, Pistons 119 (2OT)

* Williams remains in starting lineup

* Is Josh Smith an All-Star?

* Hawks 92, Bulls 75

* Williams to start vs. Bulls

* Sixers 99, Hawks 80

* Harris out vs. Sixers

* Hawks have lost two of past three

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @AJCHAWKS

93 comments Add your comment

Fleetwood B

December 29th, 2012
9:22 pm

Nice win Hawks!!!

High-sider

December 29th, 2012
9:22 pm

High-sider

December 29th, 2012
9:23 pm

vava74

December 29th, 2012
9:24 pm

And we have the fastest beat writer on the planet!

High-sider

December 29th, 2012
9:25 pm

REPOST
———————————-
High-sider
December 29th, 2012
9:21 pm

Hawks shot 55% from the field, 50% from the 3pt arc and 78.6% from the FT line. Do those (shooting) stats drop (considerably) if Josh (Smith) had played tonight? I don’t know.

http://www.nba.com/games/20121229/INDATL/gameinfo.html?ls=iref:nbahpgt0021200438

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
9:25 pm

Rev, West dropped 29 on who?

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
9:26 pm

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
9:28 pm

Hurry back Josh.. Need you for the Houston game up next..

Hawks got the win but got killed in the paint tonight..

Fleetwood B

December 29th, 2012
9:28 pm

Dont see how this Pacer team is number 1 defensively

High-sider

December 29th, 2012
9:29 pm

I’m sure (the bloggers) Mookie Blaylock and W.R. Terrell love this Hawks’ win (without “the ‘Smoove’” [Josh Smith]) over the Pacers tonight.

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
9:30 pm

Whats wrong with Roy Hibbert?

zero points and one rebound? Are you kidding?

stizz

December 29th, 2012
9:31 pm

I will say it again: This team is better than those of years past because of two main reasons.

1. All the role players excel at what they do. Hustle and heart in Zaza. Defense from Deshawn. Grit and toughness from Ivan and insane jumpshooting from Korver, Jenkins, Lou, and Morrow.

2. Joe is not here to bog down the offense.

vava74

December 29th, 2012
9:32 pm

Fleetwood B,

Check the number of TURNOVERS they forced. That kept them in the game in spite of our hot shooting.

Fleetwood B

December 29th, 2012
9:32 pm

Hibbert is making 13.67 million by the way. Ouch

Rev in Tampa

December 29th, 2012
9:33 pm

Slimjr,

You, Sir, are relentless.

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
9:33 pm

Houston on the road will be a real challenge. I believe the Hawks will be ready for it?

vava74

December 29th, 2012
9:35 pm

I distinctively remember people around here saying that we would be better off with a real 7 footer like Hibbert… because a real 7 footer is more intimidating and a rim protector than Al…

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
9:35 pm

Okay, I’ll stand down..hehehehe

enjoy the win!

keith

December 29th, 2012
9:36 pm

Intelligent Basketball….Hustle Basketball…..Energized Basketball……Great Team Victory….

LD has to seriously consider bringing Josh off the Bench going forward….much like Stoudemeire in New York……I know that’s a long shot…

Sautee

December 29th, 2012
9:37 pm

“Hawks got the win but got killed in the paint tonight..” – slimjr

Actually slim, they were near their season average. They gave up 42 while they average giving up 39.3

That 39.3 is currently 6th in the league.

http://www.teamrankings.com/nba/stat/opponent-points-in-paint-per-game

Big Ray

December 29th, 2012
9:37 pm

Hawks shot 55% from the field, 50% from the 3pt arc and 78.6% from the FT line. Do those (shooting) stats drop (considerably) if Josh (Smith) had played tonight? I don’t know.

Good question. But it’s not like that is the only effect or potential effect that Josh has on a game. We are still not a better defensive team without Josh.

He continues to be an X factor, though not in the way he used to be. Use to be he was a “kill you or cure you” kinda guy.

High-sider

December 29th, 2012
9:38 pm

This Hawks team is currently 1.5 games behind the Eastern Conference leader (Miami Heat). GM Danny Ferry and HC Larry Drew should given “A”’s (for now).

Fleetwood B

December 29th, 2012
9:38 pm

vava74,

IMO those turnover numbers were inflated by carelessness rather than defensive effort.

High-sider

December 29th, 2012
9:39 pm

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
9:39 pm

Josh is a starter on this team unlike Amare for the Knicks at this time..

He will be needed against Houston for sure on the road..

mr clarion

December 29th, 2012
9:39 pm

Hawks are starting to separate themselves from the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference. We need to stay hot, these early wins will be huge in the spring when teams are fighting for home court advantage.

Rev in Tampa

December 29th, 2012
9:39 pm

Slimjr,

Not a criticism. Just an observation. My congregation feels the same way about me on my preaching.

Please Answer This

December 29th, 2012
9:42 pm

Ok Big Ray.

How is Josh no longer an “X-Factor”, “in the way he used to be” ?

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
9:43 pm

Sautee, 42 sounds real bad, but I guess its all relative as you superbly laid out the [nimbers]..

Please Answer This

December 29th, 2012
9:44 pm

OKC is the NBA 2013 Champs. Everyone else is playing to lose to them.

Man, they can turn a game on a dime like no team I’ve seen since the Magic-Kareem Lakers.

keith

December 29th, 2012
9:45 pm

High-sider
December 29th, 2012
9:38 pm

DITTO!

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
9:46 pm

hahahaha @ Rev!

Sautee

December 29th, 2012
9:48 pm

slim, that’s quite a nice site. I found it tonight for the first time. Good stuff, and easy to navigate.

leonljustice

December 29th, 2012
9:49 pm

What about Teague in the 4th Quarter? He closed out the game for the Hawks. For some reason people still think we need Chris Paul. I would not overpay for him when we have a up and coming younger version. Chris Paul may have 4 more good years on those hamstrings.

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
9:50 pm

Dunks of the year in College on ESPN two!

Fleetwood B

December 29th, 2012
9:53 pm

leonjustice,

I wholeheartedly agree, but if Paul were here Josh wouldnt be jacking up ill advised shots

Jamaaliver

December 29th, 2012
9:54 pm

Hawks play smarter and harder without Joe OR Josh bogging down the offense.

Great win. Hard to defend us when no single player is the focal point of the offense.

keith

December 29th, 2012
9:55 pm

Maybe we can Ship Josh to Brooklyn or Utah??? They seem like willing Suckas!!!LOL……

Jamaaliver

December 29th, 2012
9:57 pm

How can Josh be our most important player? He’s given us a total of 7 points & 6rebs the last two nights, and we’ve won anyway.

There is no most important player this year. We’re a real team where everyone has a role to play.

SickAndTired

December 29th, 2012
9:58 pm

Give me Lou Williams over Joe Johnson any day of the week. One is a black hole sucking the spirit out of the offense and the other is a scorer that moves and will give it up to gain an advantage. This Hawks team is fun to watch.

NORRIS CHUCK

December 29th, 2012
9:59 pm

High-Sider,

That is true. I would definitely give them a B+ right now. But i really think this team is ONE Super Star away from being an Eastern Conference Elite.

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
10:00 pm

Thanks Sautee! I got it booked marked.. I love how the site says get smart about sports! lol!

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

December 29th, 2012
10:04 pm

Playing well.

Only really brutal month on schedule is March

No Tolliver?

Ed

December 29th, 2012
10:04 pm

so many josh haters….smh….i thought fans were loyal but not of this town….um um um

gl

December 29th, 2012
10:05 pm

Just a great win especially considering how smart the Hawks played! This may be the most unselfish Hawks team ever. Fun to watch! Coach Drew has to be noted for the job he has done with implementing all of the new pieces with the old.

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
10:07 pm

Korver and Williams have become fantastic additions to this Franchise. Both are keepers!
These two have been a great surprise..Two ballers!

HawkFan

December 29th, 2012
10:08 pm

Really nice game tonite. ZaZa and Lou were my MVP’s. JT with a good finish and hell everybody played pretty good. Team basketball is fun to watch and I have always enjoyed great shooting more than dunks.

LD is really starting to get my respect and I was one of his harshest critics in the past. You can criticize rotations but I think he does a pretty good job considering how the roster is laid out. People thinking this years team was transition and LD gone by midseason were way off base. Only team in the East we dont matchup well with is the Heat. That’s the Heat with a healthy DWade which is far from a sure thing.

Slimjr

December 29th, 2012
10:09 pm

Ed its just one guy with a 1000 handles…

High-sider

December 29th, 2012
10:20 pm

Can the Bucks “pull off” an upset over the Heat (tonight)?

HawkFan

December 29th, 2012
10:21 pm

Not fair picking on Josh. He had a rough game last night and we did play well without him tonite. However, we are not anywhere near deep enough to play with less bigs and we were not great on defense tonite other than he ZaZa vs Hibbert mismatch. Josh Smith makes this team better overall. Yes he could learn by watching the team and ball movement tonite. I like him doing more of the things ZaZa does offensively. Hustle and offensive rebounding.