NBA Playoffs 2013, Pacers vs. Hawks Game 6: Indiana advances with 81-73 win

Paul Abell

It wasn't pretty, but the Pacers are moving on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals following a defensive-minded performance in Game 6.

The Indiana Pacers eliminated the Atlanta Hawks from the 2013 NBA Playoffs with a defensive-minded 81-73 victory on Friday night.

The Pacers held a comfortable lead throughout much of the game, taking a 15-point advantage into the fourth quarter. Atlanta finally got from the field midway through the fourth, though, cutting the deficit to five with 4:30 left to play.

Just when it seemed the Hawks were about to rally, the Pacers answered. Atlanta had a chance late with the score 78-73, but Josh Smith had his three-point attempt blocked, and then Lance Stephenson knocked down a free throw to essentially ice the game.

Indiana got the job done in Game 6 the way they have all season long: defense, defense and more defense. They held the Hawks to just 34 percent shooting from the field, including a 3-of-19 mark from behind the arc. The Pacers also did a terrific job in transition, holding Atlanta to just four fast break points.

George Hill led the Pacers with 21 points and seven rebounds, doing a nice job of running the offense throughout most of the night. David West continued to play aggressively around the basket and finished the night with 21 points and eight boards. Stephenson was put together a well-rounded performance with eight points, 11 rebounds and six assists despite spraining his ankle late in the fourth quarter.

Smith picked a bad night to put together one of his worst performances of the postseason. The enigmatic forward went 5 of 16 from the field, scoring just 14 points while giving the ball away four times. Al Horford had a solid game with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Kyle Korver came off the bench and chipped in with 12 points.

With the win, the Pacers advance to face either the Celtics or Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

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