Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Atlanta 96, Indiana 85
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Officials: #24 Mike Callahan, #73 Tre Maddox, #38 Michael Smith
Attendance: 16032

INDIANAPOLIS -- When Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap rebound with the tenacity they exhibited Wednesday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Atlanta Hawks are difficult to defeat.

Howard had 23 points and 20 rebounds and Millsap added 18 points and 11 rebounds, leading the Hawks to a 96-85 victory over the struggling Indiana Pacers, who have lost three consecutive home games.

The Hawks outrebounded the Pacers 56-37, Indiana's worst rebounding deficit of the season. Atlanta had 17 offensive rebounds, which it converted into 19 second-chance points.

Atlanta (10-5) bounced back from an 18-point Tuesday night home loss to New Orleans to dominate struggling Indiana (7-9). The Hawks are 4-0 this season in the second game of a back to back.

"Our inside play with Paul and Dwight was really good," Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. "Dwight came in with the right mindset tonight. You could tell right away that his mindset was to get every rebound. He spoke to the team in the locker room before the game about getting off to a good start, and he went out and proved it."

The Hawks, who also got 13 points each from Mike Muscala and Malcolm Delaney, got 34 points from non-starters, 28 more than Indiana.

"I thought we came out here tonight with a certain level of focus, and we were able to sustain it throughout the game," Millsap said. "And our bench has been great for us all year. They did a great job tonight."

Thaddeus Young led Indiana with 24 points and seven rebounds. Monta Ellis added 19 points and Paul George scored 18, but he was only 6 of 22 from the field, including 2 of 11 from 3-point range.

Second-year Pacers center Myles Turner was no match for Howard. Turner had seven points and nine rebounds.

"It was a tough battle," Turner said of facing Howard. "He had a good game. He played harder."

Atlanta shot 42.4 percent from the field (36 of 85) and Indiana shot 40.5 percent (34 of 84).

A Howard layup with 6:47 remaining gave Atlanta a commanding 88-68 lead, but the Pacers scored the next eight to slice the deficit to 88-76 with 5:12 left.

After Indiana closed to within 65-64, Atlanta unleashed a 17-2 burst to lead 82-66 with 8:54 remaining.

Indiana coach Nate McMillan said Atlanta's rebounding dictated the game.

"It's about discipline," McMillan said. "We got their lead down to one, and then we made mistakes and took gambles. It's hard to get anything going when they get 17 offensive rebounds, and we are pulling the ball out of the bottom of the net.

"We missed a lot of open looks, and Paul George was short on his shots. He just was not in rhythm coming off an ankle injury."

Atlanta opened the third quarter with a 13-7 run to take a 62-51 lead with 7:35 remaining in the quarter. A Schroder 3-pointer with 6:15 to go in the quarter pushed the Hawks' lead to 65-53.

But Indiana countered with a 9-0 run to pull within 65-62 with 4:08 left in the quarter.

The Hawks led 49-44 at halftime, getting 16 points and 11 rebounds from Howard during the first 24 minutes when Atlanta led by as many as 17.

Muscala added 10 first-half points and four rebounds coming off the bench.

Young had 15 points for the Pacers and Ellis added eight during the first two quarters.

Atlanta outrebounded Indiana 30-15 in the first half, including 11-1 on the offensive end. The Pacers shot 46.3 percent from the field (19 of 41) in the first two quarters and Atlanta shot 42.6 percent (20 of 47).

NOTES: The Hawks were without G Kyle Korver, who is resting and did not travel with the team. ... The Pacers were without G/F C.J. Miles (sore left knee). ... Atlanta made a starting lineup change, inserting G Kent Bazemore in place of Tim Hardaway, Jr. ... Indiana played without leading scorer and F Paul George (ankle) in Monday night's 37-point loss to Golden State, but he was back in the starting lineup against Atlanta. ... The Hawks entered ranked second in NBA field goal percentage (47.8), second in assists per game (25.1) and second in opponents turnovers per game (16.6). ... The Pacers came in ranked second in blocks per game (6.5) and third in opponents turnovers per game (16.2). ... Atlanta and Indiana split last season's four-game series, each winning twice on its home court. ... The teams don't play again until March 5 in Atlanta. ... The NBA announced Wednesday that the Pacers' Dec. 22 home game against Boston will start at 7 p.m. instead of the previously announced 8 p.m. Fox Sports Indiana now will televise the game instead of TNT.
Top Game Performances
 
Atlanta   Indiana
Dwight Howard 23 Scoring Thaddeus Young 24
Paul Millsap 5 Assists Jeff Teague 8
Dwight Howard 21 Rebounds Myles Turner 9
Malcolm Delaney 6 Free Throws Made Paul George 4
Kent Bazemore 4 Steals Jeff Teague 5
Paul Millsap 3 Blocks Jeff Teague 2
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Atlanta 96 42.4 5-20 19-22 17 56 7 11 22
Indiana 85 40.5 7-27 10-14 16 37 5 15 20
Upcoming Games
  • Indiana will play their next game at home against Brooklyn. The Pacers have a W/L % of .143 after a win and .667 after a loss.
  • Atlanta will play their next game on the road against Utah. The Hawks have a W/L % of .800 after a win and .400 after a loss.