Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Horford's 20 points lead Hawks to 109-100 win over Pacers

The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- Roy Hibbert was still in his uniform, still sitting in his locker, dejected, while his Indiana Pacers teammates were showered and dressed and on their way to the bus after the Atlanta Hawks shot their way to a 109-100 win Saturday night at Philips Arena.

And they did it without Josh Smith, out with a strained right hip flexor. They didn't miss him, though, as they shot 61.5 percent in the first half, their highest field goal percentage in a half this season.

Al Horford was a perfect 5 for 5 from the field in the first quarter and finished with 20 points on a 10 for 13 shooting night. Lou Williams, making his fourth start for the Hawks (19-9), scored 21 points and Kyle Korver scored 16 points, hitting 4 of 5 three-point shots. Horford also had six rebounds and six assists.

"We had the ball flying around," Williams said of his career-high 12 assists. "I just think we got off to a great start. Guys were just making shots for me, and it happened."

Added David West, whose 29 points led the Pacers (17-13), "These guys were without their best player, statistically one of the dominant players in the league, Josh Smith, and we still couldn't get them under control defensively."

Paul George added 18 points and nine rebounds, while George Hill scored 15 points. Lance Stephenson had 13 points and five rebounds before colliding with teammate Tyler Hansbrough late in the fourth quarter. Stephenson was hit on the left side of the face and taken to the locker room.

In Smith's absence, coach Larry Drew started Zaza Pachulia to counter Hibbert, and Pachulia responded with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

"Zaza had a big night," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "That's two games in a row where we got big production from our bench."

Added West, "Tonight I got into a good groove and my shots were falling. But defensively we didn't put up much of a fight."

Hibbert had a nightmarish game; he was scoreless in 21 minutes on the court and had only one rebound. Ian Mahinmi partially took up the slack, scoring 13 points.

"I love the kid," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "He has great heart, gave great effort. He didn't have it tonight."

Both teams were on the tail end of back-to-backs and coming off wins. The Pacers had won four straight and seven of their last eight while the Hawks had won three consecutive games.

The Pacers have lost four straight games to the Hawks and have won only two of their last 15 games against them. Indiana's last win over the Hawks in Atlanta was 100-90 on Dec. 22, 2006.

NOTES: The Hawks are the walking wounded right now with five players listed with injuries. Smith went through the pregame walk-through but wasn't moving well, thanks to a strained right hip flexor sustained in Friday's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers; he was ruled out, as was Anthony Morrow (strained right hip) and Devin Harris, who missed his sixth game with a sore left foot. Horford suffered a right hip contusion in the Cavaliers game but started Saturday. Ivan Johnson, who missed that game with a stomach illness, played Saturday. ... Drew laughed when asked before the game whether, given the rash of injuries, rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott might see some playing time. "I think they're chomping at the bit," he said. Jenkins played 17 minutes and scored 10 points. ... Vogel waited to see how Hill (right thigh contusion) warmed up before setting his lineup. Hill was able to start. ... Sam Young, suffering from the flu, did not make the trip to Atlanta.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Basketball
View Comments (2)