INDIANAPOLIS – David West scored 24 points, and Paul George had 21 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday night to lead the Indiana Pacers past the Atlanta Hawks 106-83, taking a 3-2 playoff series lead.
The Pacers have all won three home games in the best-of-seven series and are 5-0 at home this season against the Hawks. They’ll go to Atlanta on Friday with a chance to clinch the best-of-seven series. But the Hawks have won 13 straight at home against the Pacers, including both games in this series.
Atlanta was led by Josh Smith and Al Horford, who each had 14 points. And it was every bit as ugly as the Hawks’ first two double-digit losses in Indianapolis.
Indiana took the lead for good midway through the second quarter and opened the third on a 12-3 run to make it 62-46. The Pacers put it away when the Hawks lost their composure.
On an ugly night that included 18 fouls during a 57-minute third quarter, three technical fouls for defensive three-second violations, three more technical on Hawks players — Smith, Jeff Teague and Ivan Johnson — and yet another on Pacers Coach Frank Vogel, everything was exhilarating for an Indiana team that reverted to its old style.
Indiana was the more physical team all night, outrebounding Atlanta 15-5 in the first quarter, 26-13 in the first half and 51-28 for the game. The Pacers outscored the Hawks 36-28 in the paint.
BUCKS: Jim Boylan won’t return as coach.
The announcement came three days after the Bucks were swept out of their first playoff appearance in three years. General Manager John Hammond said that a search for a new coach for the team will begin immediately.
TRAIL BLAZERS: Damian Lillard was the unanimous choice as the league’s rookie of the year.
Lillard, the sixth overall pick in last June’s draft out of Weber State, led all rookies with a 19-point scoring average. He also averaged 6.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds, playing in all 82 games this season.
He also broke Stephen Curry’s rookie record for 3-pointers in a season, finishing with 185.