Awake and advance

The magic for the Hawks had to end at some point.

Shots clanked off the rim innocently for most of the game and every amount of effort was not going to make up for the fact the Hawks just could not get that damn ball into the basket for those pesky point things.

When you shoot 1 for 15 in a quarter and miss 12 straight 3-pointers it just is not your night. And you hate seeing that in Game Seven.

Give the Pacers the credit they deserve though. Indiana forced those misses and stayed calm to build an 18-point lead and keep Atlanta at arm’s length. The Hawks made a few 3-pointers in a row and looked ready to make a run. That ended quickly with Lance Stephenson and Paul George providing the offensive muscle to advance with a 92-80 win.

George was stupendous, making 9 of 11 shots in one stretch, on his way to 30 points and 11 rebounds. George was a catalyst all night as he always seemed to be in this series. Atlanta could not answer him when he got rolling.

Really though, the change in this game was Roy Hibbert. He finally got himself going in a meaningful way.

Hibbert scored eight points in the first quarter and was actually a presence defensively. He finished the game with 13 points and seven rebounds. He was able, however, to force misses at the rim and make the Hawks think twice about driving. All without fouling. That was something missing all series from the former All Star.

On the other side, Atlanta shot 30.4 percent and just 11 for 44 from beyond the arc. Paul Millsap was working his best to get something going, but missed all nine of his shots in the first half and was 6 for 21 in the game for his 15 points.

The effort for the Hawks was there. It just was not enough without the shots going down. The run has ended and the Pacers have survived.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily