Trans. Apr 19 8:12 ET (Apr 19 8:12 ET ) Atlanta center Pero Antic stood face to face with Indiana forward David West after Antic had hit West from behind. I just stand there," Antic said. Whatever that moment meant, the bottom-seeded Atlanta Hawks used it to energize a 101-93 win over the No. 1 seed in the opening game of their best-of-seven first-round NBA playoff series Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Following double technical fouls and a layup by West, the Hawks scored 14 consecutive points to take charge of a game that they eventually led by 20 points.
After enduring a rough stretch over the past two months, the Indiana Pacers will enter the playoffs on a bit of a roll. Rasual Butler and Chris Copeland each scored 19 points as the Pacers rested their key players and cruised to a 101-86 victory over the Orlando Magic in the regular-season finale for both teams. The Pacers sat three starters - Paul George, Lance Stephenson and David West - and played George Hill and Roy Hibbert sparingly. It was the second time in two weeks Indiana won with starters on the bench.
The Scoop:With the first seed in the East locked up, the Pacers are just trying to give their key players some rest while hoping to reclaim the elusive chemistry that abandoned them after the All-Star break. After shooting a mere 37.2 percent from the field in March, George is still stuck at 40.2 percent in April.
The Scoop:The Pacers have a 35-6 record at home this season but they're just 20-20 on the road, so they're fortunate to have home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. West will be rested and ready for Indiana's first round matchup with the Hawks.