The Atlanta Hawks’ lone losing streak of the season is over, but they’re not impressed with how it ended.
Unlike the Hawks, the Indiana Pacers would like to repeat their most recent performance.
Coming off a busy week, Atlanta goes for its seventh straight victory in this matchup Tuesday at Conseco Fieldhouse.
After opening 6-0, the Hawks (7-4) dropped four straight before Sunday’s 111-105 home win over Minnesota.
Up 15 with 8:14 remaining, Atlanta led by just four with 11 seconds left.
Playing poorly with the lead has been a problem for the Hawks, who are shooting 35.0 percent when ahead by 15 or more. Their opponents are hitting nearly 49 percent when facing that deficit.
“We had ample opportunities to create separation but we made some bad plays and made some bad decisions,” coach Larry Drew said.
“It’s not a time to panic. It’s an area I will continue to pay attention to every single day.”
Drew will have plenty of practice time to address that this week with his club not playing until Saturday against Dallas following Tuesday’s game.
While Atlanta tries to improve to 5-1 on the road for the first time since 1997, the Pacers (4-4) open a three-game homestand following Saturday’s 99-85 victory over Cleveland.
After yielding 54 second-half points in a 102-99 home loss to Houston on Friday, Indiana limited the Cavaliers to 27.8 percent shooting and 31 points in the final 24 minutes.
“It was really good defense in the second half and a good bounce back win,” coach Jim O’Brien said. “Our wings, Michael (Dunleavy) and Danny (Granger) were terrific.”
Granger scored a season-high 34 points and Dunleavy added 20, combining to go 9 of 17 from 3-point range. The Pacers improved to 3-0 when totaling more than 20 assists.
“When we are able to move the ball and we share, we’re hard to guard,” Dunleavy said. “Hopefully we can keep that up.”
Dunleavy wasn’t a factor last season versus the Hawks - missing one meeting with an injury and combining for nine points in the other two - as the Pacers were swept.
A heel injury caused Granger to miss a 110-98 loss in the Hawks’ last visit to Indiana on Dec. 26, but the All-Star forward has averaged 23.5 points in his last six home games versus Atlanta - the Pacers won five.
Hawks swingman Joe Johnson(notes), averaging 26.5 points in his last four games at Conseco Fieldhouse, is scoring 22.0 per game in the last five contests after finishing with 15 or fewer in his previous three.
Horford, averaging 19.7 points and 15.2 rebounds during the Hawks’ six-game winning streak versus Indiana, scored 25 with a season-high 19 boards in the Dec. 26 win. He had a double-double in the first half of that matchup, prompting O’Brien to bench Hibbert for all but 39 seconds of the third quarter.
Hibbert has three double-doubles in his last six games and is averaging career highs with 16.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.0 blocks.