Bogdanovic atones in Pacers’ win vs. Hawks
ATLANTA — For the last two days, Indiana’s Bojan Bogdanovic has lived with a last-second mistake that cost his team a victory. On Wednesday, he shook off the blunder and bounced back with one of his best offensive games this month.
Bogdanovic, who made the errant pass that cost the Indiana Pacers a victory against NBA East-leading Boston on Monday, scored 19 points against the Atlanta Hawks in a 105-95 victory at Philips Arena.
“It was great,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “The kid’s been playing hard for us all season long. He has a game like that and it wasn’t anything you could really say. He knows exactly what needed to be done after the fact and it was good to see him bounce back and play the game he’s capable of playing.”
Bogdanovic played 33 minutes and was 8-for-14 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line, with two steals. It was the most points the fourth-year forward from Croatia has scored since recording 19 against New York on Dec. 4, but short of his season high of 28.
Bogdanovic said, “I don’t care how I play, but it’s really about the team. I just wait until the end of the game to see the scoreboard — and that we won the game.”
“We were all talking to him about it,” McMillan said. “We said don’t worry about it, we’re family and we’re a group that wants to show its tightness and how close we are. The guys really supported him in that situation our last game.”
The Pacers (18-14) were led offensively by guard Victor Oladipo with 23 points, including three 3-pointers. Oladipo scored 13 points in the second half and his 3-pointer with six minutes left in the final quarter gave the Pacers a 15-point lead and put the game away. Oladipo was 8-for-15 from the floor, 4-for-5 from the line and added five rebounds and two assists.
Myles Turner added 20 points, went 7-for-7 from the line, and had six rebounds and three blocked shots for the Pacers. Darren Collison and Cory Joseph each scored 11 points.
Atlanta (7-24) got only 49 points from its starting lineup. The Hawks were led by rookie John Collins with 18 points and nine rebounds. Marco Belinelli and Kent Bazemore each scored 13.
The Hawks were trying to win back-to-back games for the first time.
“Credit to Indiana,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. “They were able to sustain their effort, sustain their play for 48 minutes. We just had a big, long stretch were at both ends of the court we weren’t as good as we need to be.”
Atlanta led by as many as nine points, taking an 18-9 lead on a basket by Collins with 6:04 left in the first quarter. The Pacers began to peck away and tied it at 24 on a hoop from Domantas Sabonis and took a 28-27 lead on Joseph’s jumper with 33 seconds remaining.
The back-and-forth second quarter featured six ties, with neither team leading by more than four points and the Pacers taking a 53-51 lead into halftime.
“It was our energy,” Collins said. “We came out of the gate with a lot of energy. Then in the second half we kind of simmered down a little bit, kind of let off the gas.”
Indiana began to pull away in the third quarter, stretching their lead to as many as nine points when Collison hit a 3-pointer late in the shot clock for a 72-63 lead. Indiana led 78-71 at the end of three quarters.
“We got off to a slow start defensively,” McMillan said. “The bench came in and gave us some energy and they did again tonight. That’s what you want to do, get stronger as the game goes along. We just want to get away from the slow start.”
The Pacers were especially tough defensively against Atlanta’s two leading scorers, limiting Dennis Schroder and Taurean Prince to eight points apiece. Shroder was 4-for-15 from the floor and Prince was just 3-for-10, 1-for-6 on 3 pointers.
“Whether it was Dennis or Taurean not getting the shots they need to, I just thought collectively we weren’t very good offensively in the second half,” Budenholzer said. “As a group, the second half, we weren’t as good as we need to be.”
NOTES: Both teams were deadly from the free-throw line. Indiana made 18 of 19 and Atlanta sank 17 of 20. ... Atlanta and Indiana won’t play again until Feb. 23, then they play three times within two weeks. ... Atlanta C Miles Plumlee had four dunks, three in the first half, the first a two-handed dunk, the second a reverse two-handed dunk. He finished with a season-high 10 points. ... Inactive for Atlanta were F Mike Muscala and G Tyler Dorsey, who were both sent to the Erie Bayhawks for a G League assignment, G Josh Magette and C Dewayne Dedmon. Muscala has missed 22 games with a left ankle injury. Atlanta inactives were G Edmond Sumner (left knee surgery), F Glenn Robinson III (ankle surgery), C Ike Anigbogu and F T.J. Leaf.