In the first half, Paul George was determined to keep the Pacers close and prevent the Hawks from taking the early, ever-so-common, demoralizing lead. Monta Ellis, seeing Paul George’s plan, attempted to foil his efforts coming off the bench, but was not in the game long enough to turn the ball over more than three times, giving the Pacers a chance.
Soon enough, it was clear George was becoming his 2K avatar, going 9-12 from the floor to earn his season high for points in a half (24). Myles Turner scored as much as you and had three fouls. Pacers not named Paul George went 10-28 and turned the ball over eight times. Toward the end of the second quarter, Nate McMillan could be seen scribbling intricate symbols on his clipboard, praying for otherworldly intervention to keep PG hot in the second half.
The ritual needed more time. PG was great through three quarters with 34 points, but as the Hawks clamped down and forced some nasty turnovers, he was scoreless in the fourth. With 1:43 to go, the Pacers were down by six points. With 1:38 to go, they were down by four points. With 33 seconds to go, they were down by two points. With .6 seconds to go, they were up one point after a huge corner three by Glenn Robinson III that came after the Pacers didn’t call a timeout on the final possession as Teague pushed the ball up the floor, Paul George drove into the lane and kicked it out to CJ Miles, who found a wide open GR3 for the win.
Tonight, my heart bounced back: 1-1.
*Because this needs to be praised, a running “Teague” counter per game will be added to all future posts. Jeff Teague scored one “Teague” (baited shooting foul beyond the three) tonight. He made all three foul shots.