Sunday, March 18, 2007
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Gwinnett Daily Post
INDIANAPOLIS - Troy Murphy scored 22 points and Mike Dunleavy added 21 to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Atlanta Hawks 113-90 on Saturday night to snap their 11-game losing streak.
Another loss for the Pacers would have tied a franchise record for consecutive defeats last reached in the 1988-89 season.
Danny Granger scored 19 points, Ike Diogu scored 15 and Jamaal Tinsley had 14 assists and no turnovers for Indiana.
Josh Smith had 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, and Zaza Pachulia added 16 points for the Hawks.
The Pacers hadn't won since a home victory over Milwaukee on Feb. 21, but they put up their largest victory margin since a 101-69 win over Portland on Feb. 8, 2006. Their biggest victory this season had been by 19 points, a 91-72 win over the Hawks on Jan. 9.
The Pacers shot 53 percent from the field despite a subpar game from Jermaine O'Neal, their top scorer. O'Neal shot 2-for-12 and finished with 10 points.
The Hawks had won their first four games without All-Star Joe Johnson, but now they've lost their past two by a combined 45 points. It was clear from the start that things would be different for Indiana on Saturday. The Pacers ran out to a 9-1 lead and extended it to 36-23 at the end of the first quarter. The Pacers shot 68.4 percent in the opening period.