David West had the ball at the elbow and time winding down. The Pacers had spread the floor and George Hill was itching to cut. West waved him off. The shot clock still counted down and West had to make his move.
So he dribbled twice, getting himself into the paint. He stopped quickly — as quickly as he could — and popped a righty hook shot up and over the defender before he could react. The Pacers had broken an 85-85 tie with 40 seconds left. Now it was up to the defense.
The Hawks gave up a 16-4 run to end the game and scored just three more points the rest of the way. They picked a bad night to go cold from beyond the arc. Now, Atlanta will have to give it one more go to pull off this improbable upset after falling to Indiana 95-88 in Game Six at Philips Arena.
The Hawks shot just 35.8 percent and 9 for 35 from beyond the arc. They fell behind in both the first half and the second half but fought their way back in when Paul George got in foul trouble. It was like clockwork as the Pacers stagnated and tried to find the way to put the ball int he basket. The defense was there though like it had not been to this point in the series.
George finished with 24 points. West also had 24 points and added 11 rebounds and six assists. Jeff Teague scored 29 points and had his way with George Hill in the second half as the Pacers looked lost and gave up their lead.
When push came to shove though, the Pacers calmed themselves and found a way. They rode David West to the finish line and had the confidence to wrap everything else up. That had not happened earlier in this series. Better late than never.