Hawks forward Josh Smith drives between Pacers Paul George, left, and Lance Stephenson during Monday’s Game 4 of their seven-game playoff series.
ATLANTA --The Atlanta Hawks and the Indiana Pacers played at a frantic pace Monday night at Philips Arena before the Hawks survived for the 102-91 win, tying the best of seven series at 2-2. Game 5 is Wednesday in Indianapolis.
Josh Smith had the hot hand for the Hawks, scoring 16 of his career playoff-high 29 points in the first half. He also had 11 rebounds. Al Horford, who picked up his fourth personal foul midway through the third quarter, scored 18 points and had five rebounds for Atlanta.
Kyle Korver, freed up by the Hawks’ spacing, scored 11 first-half points and finished with 19 points, including 15 points on five made 3-point shots. Jeff Teague had 13 points and Anthony Tolliver scored 9 points.
The Hawks hit 7 of 11 3-point shots in the first half -- 7 of 8 in the second quarter - while the Pacers made 5 of 11 three-pointers. The Hawks outscored the Pacers 35-19 in the second quarter, leading by as many as 19 points and going into the locker room up 57-40.
The pace was so rapid that Devin Harris was dehydrated after the first half, requiring an IV at halftime as a precaution. He returned to the court at 5:09 in the third quarter, finishing with eight points.
Paul George, matched against Smith, scored 21 points -- 14 in the fourth quarter -- and had 12 rebounds. David West went to the bench at 6:15 of the first quarter with two personal fouls. Guarded hard by Horford, he was held to 15 points and six rebounds.
Roy Hibbert hit the Pacers’ first two shots but was relatively quiet after that, scoring 14 points and pulling down seven rebounds. George Hill added 12 points for Indiana while Lance Stephenson compiled 10 points and nine rebounds, and D.J. Augustin added eight points.
The game tightened in the third quarter as the Pacers stormed back with a 15-1 run, cutting the Hawks’ lead to 65-61 at 4:08. The Hawks didn’t score for more than seven minutes in the quarter, which ended with Harris going end-to-end to put the Hawks back up 69-61.
The Pacers outscored the Hawks 22-12 in the third, and began the final quarter down 69-62. Then the fouls started piling up as the exhausted players crashed into each other on nearly every play. That, at least, slowed the pace.
NOTES: Atlanta coach Larry Drew was unable to take a phone call from former Hawks center Jason Collins because the team was in the middle of practice, and Drew wasn’t able to reach Collins later. However, Drew left a message of support and said, “I had him in a jersey and he was just a great guy. And he was a phenomenal teammate. I underline that.” Collins, who played for the Celtics and Wizards this season, is the first active male athlete in a major American pro sport to come out as gay, which he did in a Sports Illustrated article released online Monday. … Drew opened his pregame press conference with a big “thank you” to Hawks ownership for sending a private plane to Florida to pick up Johan Petro so the center could play in Monday’s game. Petro left the team on Sunday to be with his wife, who gave birth to a son at 2 p.m. ET on Monday. … Pacers coach Frank Vogel said Petro’s presence or absence didn’t affect his team. “It’s less about what they do and more about what we do,” he said. “He’s a good player playing well for them, but this series is about what we do, about how we handle our business.” Speaking of that, Vogel said he wanted to see his team “improve our transition defense. I want to see us play with a higher offensive motor. I thought we were half-speed on a lot of our reaction and passive in our ball toughness and our screening (in Saturday’s loss).”