Hawks fall to Pacers in final regular-season game

Lauren Williams, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Basketball

INDIANAPOLIS — There’s something about the Pacers that the Hawks just can’t shake this season. In the final game of the regular season, the Hawks fell to the Pacers 157-115 on Sunday afternoon at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Here are five observations.

1. The Pacers just had the Hawks scrambling, with Myles Turner and Pascal Siakam stretching the floor so early. They scored all 19 of the Pacers’ points before Tyrese Haliburton scored a running layup to continue their early 21-6 run.

The Hawks eventually allowed to the Pacers to knock down over 70% of their baskets by end of the first quarter and ceded a season-high 49 first-quarter points. The Pacers dropped 86 points in the first half eventually tying their record for most points in a first half.

The Pacers play with the second fastest pace in the league, and they decimated the Hawks regardless of whether the ball went in or not. They averaged 155.6 points per 100 transition plays to finish the day in the 90th percentile, according to Cleaning the Glass.

“We didn’t turn it over a lot, but when we did, they were dunks,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “There were a few possessions that we tried to focus on at halftime where we actually did defend through the clock. It didn’t happen enough. They put a lot of pressure on you in close-out situations. They’re attacking the rim and sometimes it’s a good-to-great game for them. And that’s credit to them.”


2. The Hawks did not have two of their rotational centers in Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu. They rested Capela on Sunday afternoon, while Okongwu will miss significant time rehabbing from a procedure to address inflammation in his left toe.

So, center Bruno Fernando started the game with Mouhamed Gueye coming off the bench.

The Hawks had to sub in Gueye early with Fernando picking up two early fouls trying to help contain Turner and Siakam. Gueye scored a career-high 19 points, had nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals as he returned to playing the five.

“He was a bright spot tonight,” Snyder said.


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