The Atlanta Hawks took a 3-2 lead in their series with the Indiana Pacers as they won Game 5 by a score of 107-97.
The score says Indiana only lost by 10 but this game was not that close. Atlanta completely dismantled the Pacers in their own building with hot shooting and a blistering performance from their bench.
In the second quarter the Hawks outscored Indiana 41-19 behind former Virginia Cavalier Mike Scott’s 17 points. Scott, who has one of the coolest Instagram pages among his NBA peers, spotted up one uncontested three after another and helped the Hawks take a 21-point lead into halftime.
Atlanta was the only team in the NBA to beat the Pacers on their home floor twice in the regular season. In the playoffs the Hawks have proven this wasn’t a fluke and those wins were legit. Now Atlanta, and this is going to sound crazy, has the opportunity to close out the series on their home floor. If they can pull it off they will be the sixth eight-seed to ever beat a one-seed.
Indiana’s Paul George “paced” his squad with 26 points and 12 rebounds but had little help. Again, the storyline was the curious case of Roy Hibbert. He gives Indiana a clear size advantage over Atlanta but has been more of a liability than anything.
Meanwhile, Hawks fans are hoping their team can continue their improbable run right into the second round. This shouldn’t be a problem if Atlanta can once again get balanced scoring from their starters and their thin bench. Atlanta had five players reach double figures; even Shelvin Mack chipped in with 20 points of the bench.
One thing is for sure though, Indiana is probably the worst one-seed ever given all the talent they have. And even if they win Game 6, Atlanta can still take comfort in knowing the Pacers haven’t won back-to-back games since the All-Star break.