To keep their longest win streak of the season going, the Indiana Pacers will have to snap a lengthy skid.
The Pacers have lost in 10 consecutive visits to the Atlanta Hawks and will try to end that drought while seeking a fifth victory in a row Saturday night.
Indiana (17-12) hasn't won in Atlanta since Dec. 22, 2006, but just missed a chance for a victory at Philips Arena in the most recent matchup between the teams Nov. 7. The Pacers led by 14 points early in the fourth quarter but allowed the Hawks to go on an 18-0 run in an 89-86 defeat.
Kyle Korver scored eight of his 13 points during that spurt and Jeff Teague hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:04 remaining to give his team a third consecutive win in the series.
Indiana would appear to have a prime chance to end both of its losing streaks to Atlanta as it heads into this game having allowed an average of 84.8 points during its win streak and 85.0 during a stretch of seven victories in eight contests.
The Pacers, though, also blew a 16-point lead over Phoenix on Friday before coming away with a 97-91 home win. They allowed the Suns to shoot 46.3 percent after limiting their previous seven opponents to a combined 39.4 percent.
"It wasn't pretty in the second half, but we got the job done," coach Frank Vogel said. "We'd like blowouts, but we got the 'W' and found a way to win."
David West helped rescue his team by scoring eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead jumper with 3:17 to play, and George Hill had a team-best 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Hill and West each had 20 points in the loss in Atlanta in November.
Teague, who finished with 15 points in that game, scored a career-high 27 in the Hawks' third straight win Friday, 102-94 in Cleveland. He also hit a go-ahead shot for the second time in as many contests.
His 3-pointer with 2:46 left in the second overtime helped Atlanta (18-9) down Detroit 126-119 in its most recent home game Wednesday and he made an 18-foot jumper with 2:33 left Friday to spark a game-ending 9-0 run.
"I was just being aggressive,' Teague said. "Coach (Larry Drew) pulled me aside after (a loss in Philadelphia on Dec. 21) and told me to bring more energy."
Atlanta is seeking a third straight victory at Philips Arena and its 10th in 13 games while Indiana will try to match its season-high three-game road win streak from Nov. 19-30.
Indiana, winners in seven of 10 away from home, is on its longest run since taking seven in a row April 9-19.
West will try to help extend that run while scoring at least 20 points in a third consecutive game against Atlanta. He's made 19 of 31 shots (61.3 percent) in the previous two matchups.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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