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Pacers 100, Hawks 94

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- Lose one starter, two starters, even three starters, it didn't matter for the Indiana Pacers against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.

The Pacers turned to their bench and the reserves had no problem stepping up to help out.

Swingman Gerald Green scored 19 points and rookie Orlando Johnson added 15 points to help the Pacers beat the Hawks 100-94 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Center Roy Hibbert added 17 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks for Indiana, which was coming off a disappointing loss to Chicago during the weekend.

Forward Josh Smith scored 20 points for Atlanta.

The victory moved the Pacers percentage points back in front of the New York Knicks for the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Pacers were supposed to struggle because they were without starters David West (knee), George Hill (groin) and Lance Stephenson (hip).

Well, that's what was supposed to happen.

Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Pendergraph combined for 26 points and 14 rebounds at power forward in West's absence.

The Pacers led by as many as 18 points in the first half and eventually pushed their lead to as many as 28 points in the second half before the Hawks, who failed to lock up a playoff spot with the loss, caused some uneasiness.

Atlanta picked up its defensive intensity and eventually got to as close as four points in the final minute of the game.

The Pacers ended any thought of a disappointing loss when D.J. Augustin found Green in the corner for a 3-pointer to put them up 97-90 with 34.4 seconds left.

NOTES: Hill and Stephenson suffered their injuries in Saturday's loss at Chicago. Neither injury is expected to keep either player sidelined for an extended period. West missed his fifth straight game with a back injury. Augustin and Green started for Hill and Stephenson. Hansbrough continues to start for West at power forward. ... Former Pacer Dahntay Jones started for injured Devin Harris at shooting guard for Atlanta. ""I like his presence defensively, his energy defensively," Hawks coch Larry Drew said. "He gives us a guy we can allow to play one-on-one. He can defend three positions and with the versatility of this Indiana team, that's important."... Pacers coach Frank Vogel said there's a chance that injured forward Danny Granger could see some time off the bench against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Granger has missed all but five games this season because of a left knee injury.
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