The Atlanta Hawks have the second-fewest wins in the NBA, but have managed to beat the Indiana Pacers twice this season. The Hawks look to improve to 3-0 over the Pacers as they meet at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Indiana is in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, and had won seven straight over Atlanta before the start of this season.
The Hawks defeated the Pacers 87-85 on Nov. 25 to snap a 10-game road losing streak at Indianapolis. Atlanta has not swept Indiana at Conseco Fieldhouse since the 1998-99 season.
The Hawks are coming off a 114-109 loss Wednesday to the Seattle SuperSonics, their fourth loss in the last five games. Atlanta allowed Seattle to shoot 57 percent from the field, and opponents have shot 50.8 percent from the field against the Hawks the past four games.
“We were terrible on defense tonight,” Al Harrington said. “We didn’t get any stops, myself included. We allowed too many layups and dunks. When you play like that, it’s hard to win.
“Going into Indiana we definitely can’t allow that, so we’re just going to have to move on from this and try to get the next one.”
Joe Johnson finished with 18 points and 11 assists, and had 28 points on 60 percent shooting shooting in Atlanta’s 104-94 win Jan. 23 over the Pacers.
Harrington, a former Pacer, scored 24 points Wednesday and has a career average of 22.8 points against Indiana, his highest against any opponent.
Josh Childress, who added 20 in Wednesday’s loss, is averaging 17.8 points in his last five games after averaging 9.5 points in his first 47.
Atlanta averages 39.8 rebounds but has grabbed 91 in its two victories over Indiana.
The Pacers lost to the Detroit Pistons 88-83 on Thursday, turning the ball over 22 times.
“That was a big part of the game,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. “When you turn it over 22 times for 30 points, you aren’t going to beat a top team.”
In their Jan. 23 loss to the Hawks, the Pacers turned the ball over 18 times, which led to 24 points for Atlanta.
Stephen Jackson scored 15 points Thursday, but is shooting just 30.2 percent from the floor in his last four games.
Peja Stojakovic added 14 points and was 3 for 3 from 3-point range against the Pistons. He is averaging 18.1 points while shooting 44.4 percent from beyond the arc in nine games since being traded from Sacramento to Indiana.
The Pacers shot 9 for 18 from 3-point range against the Pistons, but have made just 6-of-32 (18.8 percent) 3s against the Hawks.
Indiana has won six of its last seven home games, outscoring its opponents by an average of 15.3 points in those games.