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Preview: Pacers (48-34) at Hawks (24-58)
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Date: January 08, 2014 7:30 PM EDT

The Indiana Pacers have had a difficult time playing in Atlanta, winning only once there in the regular season since 2005.

The Hawks are struggling to win anywhere without All-Star center Al Horford.

The Pacers look to snap an 11-game regular-season skid in Atlanta and send the Hawks to their longest losing streak of the season Wednesday night.

Indiana (28-6) ranks at or near the top of the league in most defensive categories, including scoring (88.3), field-goal percentage (41.0) and 3-point percentage (32.1) on the way to the NBA's best record.

The Pacers have been particularly dominant at that end lately, allowing an average of 83.0 points, 39.6 percent shooting and 28.4 percent from beyond the arc while winning eight of nine.


On Tuesday, Indiana made up for its lone loss during that stretch with an 86-79 victory over visiting Toronto. Roy Hibbert led the way with 22 points, while Danny Granger added 13 as he continues to work his way back into game shape.

"Our guys buckled down and had a great defensive performance," said coach Frank Vogel, whose club lost 95-82 in Toronto last week.

The Pacers, however, have had some issues when they've traveled to Atlanta (18-17). They've given up an average of 105.6 points and a 48.0 field-goal percentage - including 40.6 from 3-point range - during their regular-season losing streak there.

This is the first meeting since Indiana ousted the Hawks in the opening round of last season's playoffs. The Pacers lost Games 3 and 4 to push their overall skid in Atlanta to 13 before holding the Hawks to 33.3 percent shooting in an 81-73 victory there May 3 that clinched the series in six games.

Indiana's Paul George managed four points on 2-of-10 shooting in that contest, and he's averaged just 12.4 over seven career trips to Atlanta.

The Pacers won't have to worry about Horford, who is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn pectoral Dec. 26. The two-time All-Star has averaged 18.2 points and 11.2 rebounds in 12 career home meetings - including last postseason.

The Hawks have won only two of six since Horford went down, beating Charlotte at home 118-116 in overtime Dec. 28 and winning 92-91 at Boston on New Year's Eve.

Atlanta has averaged 90.0 points on 40.7 percent shooting - including a 31.3 clip from beyond the arc - during its three-game losing streak, much lower than its season marks of 102.1 and 45.9.

The Hawks also have a minus-6.3 rebounding margin over that stretch, which isn't a good sign heading into a matchup with an Indiana team that ranks near the top of the league at plus-3.8.

Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague scored 16 apiece Monday but shot a combined 9 for 27 as Atlanta matched its longest slide of the season with a 91-86 loss at Brooklyn.

"We felt like we could (get over the hump) and a few things didn't go our way," said Millsap, who has shot 12 for 44 (27.3 percent) during the winless start to 2014. "But still we fought to the end. At the end of the day, we've just got to work on our fundamentals."

George Hill has played well against the Hawks, averaging 16.3 points on 51.1 percent shooting in his last four regular-season meetings.

The Pacers haven't won a regular-season game in Atlanta since Dec. 22, 2006.

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