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Indiana35223021108
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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, February 18th (All times Eastern)

Atlanta Hawks (25-26) at Indiana Pacers (40-12), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers begin the post All-Star break march to the best record in basketball Tuesday night when they host the Atlanta Hawks.

The Pacers begin the unofficial second half with a 40-12 mark, which puts them percentage points behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the best record in the league.

Indiana is 2 1/2 games ahead of the two-time defending champion Miami Heat for best record in the Eastern Conference. Forget about the Central Division, the Pacers have almost mathematically wrapped that up already.

The Pacers head into Tuesday's tilt after only their third home loss of the season, an 81-73 setback on Wednesday. Indiana scored a measly 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Lance Stephenson had 13 points and 10 rebounds, George Hill scored 14 points and Paul George tallied 12 points and seven boards for Indiana, which has dropped two of its last three on the heels of a four-game winning streak.

Danny Granger finished with 13 and David West added 12.

George led the Eastern Conference to a win on All-Star Sunday night, including having a hand in getting the East a victory in the Dunk Contest. George finished with 18 points in the All-Star Game, while Roy Hibbert managed eight points and Frank Vogel guided the East to a 163-155 win.

The 318 combined points was an All-Star record.

"I keep trying to tell you guys, great offense beats great defense," Vogel said.

The Pacers lead the NBA in opponents' scoring and opponents' field-goal percentage.

Paul Millsap of the Hawks contributed six points to the Eastern victory in his first All-Star campaign. It was the first win Millsap experienced in some time.

The Hawks have dropped five straight and fell under the .500 mark. Atlanta has also lost three in a row on the road.

On Wednesday, the Hawks got clobbered in Toronto, 104-83.

"It's been a tough stretch," said Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Gustavo Ayon scored a season-high 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting and grabbed 10 boards in the setback. Millsap had 17 points and sharpshooter Kyle Korver extended his streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 120.

Jeff Teague chipped in 13 points and Cartier Martin managed 10 off the bench. DeMarre Carroll missed the Raptors game with a hamstring injury.

The teams split this season's two matchups, both of which were in Atlanta. The Pacers are 8-0 in Tuesday games this season.

02/18 10:26:58 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 24
DET 7
Final
TOR 5
TAM 6
Final
DET 6
CLE 4
Final
NYM 0
WAS 3
Final
PIT 7
CHC 3
Final
PHI 4
MIA 5
Final
KAN 4
BOS 8
Final
MIL 9
CIN 2
Final
CWS 4
MIN 6
Final
STL 4
COL 1
Final
TEX 10
ATL 3
Final
ANA 1
HOU 6
Final
SFG 2
LOS 4
Final
SEA 0
OAK 4
Final
ARI 8
SDP 6
Final
BAL 3
NYY 2
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
TOR
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
CIN
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
DET
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
LOS
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
PHI
 
Final
NYG 14
ARI 25
Final
CIN 24
ATL 10
Final
TEN 10
DAL 26
Final
CAR 24
DET 7
Final
WAS 41
JAC 10
Final
BUF 29
MIA 10
Final
MIN 7
NEP 30
Final
CLE 26
NOS 24
Final
SDC 30
SEA 21
Final
TAM 17
STL 19
Final
OAK 14
HOU 30
Final
DEN 24
KAN 17
Final
GBP 31
NYJ 24
Final
SFX 20
CHI 28
8:30pm Tonight
IND
PHI