This wasn’t Dennis Schroder versus Jeff Teague.
Far from it.
The former teammates were non-factors as the Hawks controlled much of the game against the Pacers for a 96-85 victory Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Hawks.
The Hawks led by as many as 17 points in the first half but had to survive as the Pacers pulled within two and one point at different points in the third quarter. In the end, the Hawks used a 19-2 run between the third and fourth quarters to seal the much-needed victory. The Hawks led by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter but had to hold off one last Pacers’ rally. The Pacers held one lead in the game, a 13-10 advantage early in the game.
The Hawks (10-5) were led by their front court with Dwight Howard with 23 points and a season-high 20 rebounds. It was his 11th double-double of the season and he had it in the first half. Nine of his rebounds came on the offensive end. Paul Millsap had a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Mike Muscala (13) and Malcolm Delaney (13) also scored in double figures for the Hawks.
The Pacers (7-9) were led by Thaddeus Young with 24 points. Paul George returned after missing three games and had 15 points.
Teague was traded to the Pacers during the summer after spending his first seven seasons with the Hawks. The move cleared the way for Schroder to take over as the team’s starting point guard.
“Those calls are never easy,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game of informing Teague of the trade. “Together we had a lot of success. I’m very happy for him to be here, in a place where he feels good. Those are emotional calls and emotional moments for everybody – at least with me they are.”
Schroder struggled for much of the game and played sparingly in the fourth quarter. He finished with nine points on 3 of 11 shooting with two assists and three turnovers. Teague finished with 11 points on 5 of 15 shooting with eight assists and five steals. Seven of his points came in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks led by as many as 17 points, 43-26, after they started the second quarter on a 12-2 run. The Pacers answered with a run of their own and when Myles Turner, off all players, made a 3-pointer to start the third quarter and the Hawks’ lead was down to two points, 49-47. The Hawks pushed their lead back to 12 points only to see the Pacers get within one point, 65-64. Another Hawks’ run, to start the decisive 19-2 stretch and they led by 11 points at the end of the third quarter.
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