Pacers Fall to Hawks 129-117 in Last Game of Road Trip
On Sunday afternoon, the Indiana Pacers (26-30) lost to the Atlanta Hawks (31-26) 129-117. The Hawks currently sit as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, and the Pacers remain as the ninth seed.
Sunday's game was the daunted get-away game for the Pacers, who have been on the road since their win in Houston on Wednesday. They came out flat in the first quarter. The team clearly showed signs of a group who had been on the road for a while.
"Four of their starters with 20+ and that was the biggest up-hill challenge to keep fighting," Head coach Nate Bjorken said post-game. "Once they start off well to cool them off. When your opponent sees that first shot go in, then the next one becomes a little bit more free and easier."
Two of the biggest challenges on the day were Clint Capela, who went off for 25 points and 24 rebounds, and Trae Young, who dropped 34 points and dished out 11 assists.
"I think we needed to a better job on their main-guys," Bjorken added.
While the offense for the Paces has not been a problem as of late, the defense for the Pacers is starting to become a real concern. Before the game, they ranked 22nd in points allowed. They let the Hawks score 129 points. Last game, they let the Jazz score 119 points.
The offense is not the problem; it's the defense.
"Teams aren't just going to kind of let you contest and let you closeout," T.J. McConnell said post-game. "They make you pay for the little mistakes that you make."
The Hawks scored 35 points in the first quarter and the fourth quarter.
"We just gotta talk a little bit better and give a little more effort," McConnell added.
Some positives for the Pacers were All-Star Domantas Sabonis putting up 18 points, five assists and 14 rebounds and Malcolm Brogdon (from Atlanta himself) scoring 29 points and dishing out nine assists.
"When you don't get stops, you usually don't score the ball," Brogdon said.
The Pacers head home to play the Spurs tomorrow night.