The Hawks looked to get themselves back into the NBA In-Season Tournament in Tuesday’s game against the Pacers at State Farm Arena. But the Pacers clinched Group East A with a 157-152 win, instead.

Here are five observations:

1. In the final five minutes of the game, the Hawks answered each of the Pacers’ shots to keep themselves within one possession.

Pacers wing Buddy Hield hit a 3 with 4:30 to go before Obi Toppin finished a Tyrese Haliburton alley-oop with two hands. Hield hit another 3 but baskets from Hawks forward Jalen Johnson, a driving layup from guard Trae Young and sets of free throws from Dejounte Murray and Young pulled the game within two.

The Hawks nabbed a brief 150-149 lead after forcing a Haliburton turnover and Young hit a 22-foot step-back jumper. But the Pacers fired from all cylinders from beyond the arc. Then officials wiped out Murray’s attempt to tie the game at 155 after they deemed he kicked his leg out on a 3-point attempt. Officials deemed a challenge from Hawks coach Quin Snyder unsuccessful.

“They put a lot of pressure on you from the 3-point line and then put you in closeout situations and then get to the basket,” Snyder said of the Pacers.

2. The contest was the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season.

It also marked just the seventh regulation game in league history where both teams scored at least 150 points, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The Pacers’ 157 points are a franchise record.

Why did the teams combine for 309 points? The Pacers shot 60.6% from the floor and 48.9% from 3-point range, while the Hawks shot 59.4% overall and 48.4% from deep. Both teams entered ranked in the top five in points per game and the bottom five in points allowed per game.

3. Despite a hot start in the first half, the Hawks could not stop the Pacers’ runs to open the third. The Pacers, particularly Haliburton, looked fresh. He made all but of one of his shots in the third quarter.

Haliburton seemingly used fans’ chants in the first half of “Trae (Young) is better” as fuel, scoring 26 of his 37 points and making seven 3s in the frame. He gleefully skipped back in transition after his seventh 3 gave the Pacers a 115-112 lead.

Haliburton’s explosive third quarter helped the Pacers outscore the Hawks 46-28 in the third.

4. The Hawks knew that transition defense and getting out quickly would be their saving grace against the NBA’s top offense. The Hawks scored a franchise-record 86 points in the first half and got out to a 13-point lead.

The Hawks’ offense proved hot as they hit 10-of-16 shots from 3 and four players scored in double figures by the end of the first half. The remaining five players in the nine-man rotation were not far behind as the Hawks looked to continue unselfish play.

5. Hawks wing Bogdan Bogdanovic helped launch a run in the second quarter, scoring 15 of his 22 first-half points in the second quarter alone.

He finished the first half making eight of his ten field-goal attempts, two of which came from 3. It’s the third-highest scoring half of his career and he became the first bench player in the NBA this season to tally 20 or more points while making 80% or better from the floor.

Even in a high-scoring game, the Hawks also got some solid defense from Young. Late in the game, he faced off against Haliburton and a fan in the stands doubted the Hawks guard’s ability to make a stop. But Young picked off Haliburton for his third steal of the night.

“I’ve been saying it the whole year,” Snyder said. “To whatever extent there’s a narrative that develops about someone -- he’s been good off the ball. He’s been good on the ball. He’s competed. I can show you a long edit of the times he’s picked up full court, and someone should talk about it.”

Young had an efficient offensive night, going 13-of-17 overall, with five shots from 3 for 38 points. He also had eight assists.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Stat to know

100 -- The Hawks crossed 100 points with 7:08 left in the third quarter for the second-quickest to 100 points for the Hawks in the play-by-play era.


“That’s just been like a big focus point for me. And defense isn’t necessarily about talent, it’s more about effort and thinking and being smart and just being in the right spot.” -- Trae Young on his defensive performance

Up next

The Hawks return to the court on Wednesday to host the Nets in the second night of back-to-back games.