INDIANAPOLIS — David West scored 24 points and Paul George had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead Indiana past Atlanta 106-83 on Wednesday night, 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 Indy.
Indiana took the lead for good midway through the second quarter and opened the third period 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.
West, who had been struggling, led the charge by scoring 10 of 11 points during a key second-quarter stretch. George was nearly flawless, making 7 of 8 shots and finishing with 10 rebounds and five assists.
Atlanta shot under 50 percent from the field.
Not surprisingly, the game looked more like the first two — both Pacers blowouts — than the last two, both Hawks wins.
After a back-and-forth start that featured six lead changes and two ties in the first quarter, the Pacers took command midway through the second. West scored the last six points in an 8-0 run that turned a 31-28 deficit into a 36-31 Pacers lead. Indiana followed that with a 9-4 spurt.