Millsap opened the decisive 14-0 run with two free throws. Teague followed that with a driving layup, his only 3 of the game, another layup and two free throws. And when Millsap ended the run with a three-point play, the Pacers trailed 74-58.
They couldn’t even cut the lead to single digits until Stephenson’s 3 made it 99-91 with 33.6 seconds left and by then it was too late for the league’s best home team to rally.
“All year, we’ve encouraged Jeff to be aggressive,” Budenholzer said. “When he’s aggressive, it just creates opportunities for himself and opportunities for his teammates.”
And headaches for everyone else.
Notes: Atlanta made eight of its first 12 shots in the third quarter. ... Indiana hasn’t reached the second round of the playoffs in consecutive years since 2003-04 and 2004-05. ... The Game 1 winner has won each of the five previous playoff series’ between Atlanta and Indiana. ... Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll has 12 points and 10 rebounds.
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