ATLANTA — George Hill and David West each scored 21 points, and the Indiana Pacers withstood a furious Atlanta comeback in the fourth quarter, beating the Hawks 81-73 on Friday night to close out the opening-round playoff series, four games to two.
The home team had won every game until the Hawks returned to Philips Arena and set a franchise record with nine points in the second quarter on 1-of-15 shooting. The defense broke down in the third, allowing Hill and West to combine for 22 points, and the Pacers built a 65-50 lead going to the fourth.
The Hawks showed some heart, slicing it to 76-73 on Al Horfords dunk with 2:13 remaining. But the comeback fizzled, and the Pacers advanced to face the Knicks.
KNICKS 88, CELTICS 80
At Boston, Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points, and New York held on after blowing most of a 26-point lead, advancing in the postseason for the first time since 2000.
Iman Shumpert scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, when the Celtics cut a 75-49 deficit to four points. But Anthony made a jumper to give New York an 81-75 lead and then sank a 3-pointer, then J.R. Smith converted a three-point play to restore the double-digit lead.
The Celtics had rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the series.