advertisement

David West leads Pacers past Hawks in must-win Game 6

Thursday, May 1, 2014 | 9:46 p.m. CDT
Indiana Pacers forward David West shoots as Atlanta Hawks forward Elton Brand defends in the first half of Game 6 in Atlanta on Thursday. The Pacers won 95-88 to stave off elimination and force Game 7 in Indianapolis.

ATLANTA — David West led Indiana on a 16-4 run to end the game, extending the season for the top-seeded Pacers with a 95-88 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night.

Trailing 3-2 after losing at home for the second time in the best-of-seven series, Indiana was poised for an early summer when the Hawks pushed out to an 84-79 lead with just over 3 minutes remaining, cheered on by a raucous crowd.

But, for the fourth time in this back-and-forth affair, the road team won.

West seemed to make every big play down the stretch, scoring four straight points and forcing a huge turnover to begin the turnaround. West, who finished with 24 points hit two more baskets in the final minute to wrap things up.

Game 7 is Saturday in Indianapolis.

Paul George also scored 24 points for the Pacers and hit four straight free throws to help finish off the Hawks, who are trying to become only the sixth No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed.

Atlanta, playing perhaps its biggest home playoff game since the 1980s, looked as if it was on the verge of a huge celebration when the defense sagged and Jeff Teague knocked down a jumper for a five-point lead with 3:16 to go.

But the Pacers, led by West, showed some of the resolve they've been accused of lacking. After swishing a pair of free throws, he hustled back to swat the ball away from Atlanta's Pero Antic. West made sure Indiana took advantage of the turnover, too, and scored again on a jumper from the top of the key.

Paul Millsap missed at the other end, and George Hill burst into the lane to drop one in. Just like that, the Pacers were back up 85-84 with 1:58 remaining.

Antic tied it for the final time, 85-all, on a free throw with 1:24 remaining. But that was it for the Hawks.

West hit another jumper to put the Pacers ahead for good. Then, coming off a timeout, Lou Williams drove under the basket and tried to throw an outlet pass to Teague for a 3-pointer, but the ball went right to George. He was immediately fouled, made both free throws, and Teague missed again for the Hawks after a brilliant night to seal it for the Pacers.

Teague scored 29 points, but it wasn't enough.

Indiana seemed to be methodically seizing control in the third quarter as it pushed out to a nine-point lead. But Mike Scott sparked the Hawks with a thunderous dunk off a no-look pass from Teague. The crowd was on its feet the rest of the period, and the Hawks closed the third on a 19-7 run.

Teague scored six points in the final 53 seconds, including a pair of spectacular drives that sent Philips Arena into a frenzy. He scooted past C.J. Watson with a dazzling crossover dribble, then dropped in a runner just ahead of the buzzer to send the Hawks to a final quarter with a 67-64 lead.

Teague bowed out his chest and let out a scream while the Pacers straggled to the bench, knowing a season that showed such promise most of the year was in danger of being over far earlier than anyone envisioned.

Things got a little ugly near the end of the first half. Scott doled out an elbow to Hill, and the Pacers guard responded with a shove. The refs jumped in quickly and no punches were thrown. After initially calling a foul on Hill, the officials got together and changed it to Scott. The crowd booed lustily, but it appeared to be the correct call.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements