Hawks-Pacers postgame quotes

What they said after the Hawks’ 107-88 victory over the Pacers Sunday:

“I think that was one of our better efforts. It started with our defense. In both the first and second quarters we were able to sustain our defense and it really fueled our offense, our activity and our competitiveness and playing together. They turned up their pressure and made it difficult on us and we found a way as a group to fight through that pressure, their energy, in the third and fourth quarter. Obviously, a lot of guys played well. I’m most happy with our defense.”

- Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer’s opening statement

“It’s always a big part of any team’s attack and offense. If you are able to make some 3’s it spreads out their defense. And if you are able to make some 3’s there are more driving lanes and there are more opportunities to get to the paint and score in the paint. That is what you want, to score in the paint and make a couple 3’s. Tonight we had a little bit of both.”

- Budenholzer on Hawks’ 3-point shooting

“It was our activity. We came in with a good focus. I think we caught them on an off night. They had a tough travel schedule and a tough day. They are a very, very good team. As many games as we play sometimes you just have a half like that. I think we participated in it some but I think we caught them on a rough night.”

- Budenholzer on 32-point halftime lead

“One of the most important messages was to handle whatever they do to us together. You can anticipate that a team is going to pick up their pressure, a team is going to try to disrupt you. We needed to share the ball, move the ball. We needed everybody to participate if we were going to be able to handle that pressure. Then we just encouraged them to keep our pressure and our activity up.”

- Budenholzer on message to team to start second half

“There is not NBA team that has a half like that. Sometimes you catch a break or you catch somebody when it’s not falling. You never anticipate or think that is going to happen.”

- Budenholzer on whether he was surprised by Pacers’ struggles

“No. Lou (Williams’) hamstrings were tight. That kind of shortened it up a little bit. It was one of those things we felt tonight.”

- Budenholzer on whether he will shorten his bench down stretch as he did Sunday

“Ever since last game, we’ve been moving the ball. We realize that if we move the ball no team can guard us. I think everybody is being unselfish moving the ball and we are helping each other on defense. We were struggling a little bit but now we are back to playing Hawks basketball and this is the best time to start playing Hawks basketball.”

- DeMarre Carroll on Hawks’ fast start

“No, not really. We have a really good team, especially when we move the ball like that and help each other on defense. We see it. At the beginning of the season we were in third place and then we got away from what we are supposed to do. I’m just glad we got everybody back and playing good basketball.”

- Carroll on whether he was surprised by 35-point lead on Pacers

“We are not so worried on just making the playoffs. We are worried about competing in the playoffs. We just want to keep playing the way we are playing and stay true to the system.”

- Carroll on playoff position

“That was a little surprising but we brought a lot of energy. We knew it was a must-win for us. We came out hungry with energy, passion and playing defensively. We were making shots and when Pero (Antic) is stretching the floor we are a good team.”

- Jeff Teague on whether he was surprised by 35-point lead on Pacers

“We weren’t worried anything about that. We can only control what we can control. So when we go out there we just have to play for us and not worry about anything else.”

- Teague on knowing Knicks had lost earlier in the day

“This is a big win for us. We are getting better as the season is unwinding. That’s good, going into the playoffs with a little momentum.”

- Teague on importance of win

“Moving the ball around. Guys making shots. Playing hard. Playing together. Playing team defense. When we move the ball around like that it’s hard for anybody to guard us.”

- Mike Scott on reason for fast start

“They are a great team, especially at home. We knew they were going to make a run in the third quarter.”

- Scott on whether he was surprised by fast start

“Step on their throats. Keep the momentum going. We knew they were going to come out hard in the third quarter.”

- Scott on halftime message

“We’ve had a really tough second half of the season with injuries. It’s been guys going in and out of the lineup. For the most part, we are pretty healthy. We have some guys banged up but they are able to play. It shows. We are a team that doesn’t have a superstar but we have a lot of really great pieces. We are all healthy and we when are clicking we can play really good basketball.”

- Kyle Korver on Hawks’ win

“It wasn’t the first half we were expecting.”

- Korver on Pacers’ poor first half

“That was one of our best halves this season. For sure. To come out here on the road against a very good team, that’s a big boost for us.”

- Korver on Hawks’ fast start

“You have to keep taking it one game at a time. We can’t relax. Too many things can happen. Paul (Millsap) gets hurt. I thought he broke his hand. What if he did? So many things can happen so you just take it one game at a time. We are playing better basketball lately and we’ll just keep on building.”

- Korver on Hawks’ playoff position

“We know where we are (in the standings). Every game is important for us. If (we are playing) the first or the last in the conference, we just try to win as much as possible. We came out and we competed hard. We shared the ball. That was the most important thing. When we share the ball I think we can play with anybody.”

- Pero Antic on Hawks’ fast start

“It’s great. The guys find you. When you play defense, the offense comes easy. We played great defense. They guys found me because I was spreading the floor. Whenever they found me, I was knocking down the shots. Even though I was struggling the last few games but I’m glad they fell in.”

- Antic on 18-point performance

“I’m old enough, experienced enough, at shooting. That is my job. I’m a shooting big guy. I count myself as one. That’s why they take me here so it’s up to me to knock down the shots.”

- Antic on recent shooting struggles

“Sore. I can’t even recall (how it happened). All I know is I had to flip my fingernail back over.”

- Paul Millsap on right thumb contusion

“I wouldn’t say surprised. It was something that we needed to do. Come out aggressive. I feel like we were the more aggressive team. We played our style. We forced them to play our style of basketball. That’s what really helped us get up.”

- Millsap on 35-point lead

“This group, we feel like we have some chemistry when we are on the court. If Pero goes down, or Kyle goes down or I go down, you have to build chemistry with someone else. We feel comfortable with each other out there.”

- Millsap on success of current starting unit