Paul George scored 27 points and George Hill had all 15 of his points in the second half, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 101-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in Indianapolis on Tuesday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
The Pacers and Hawks are tied at a game apiece heading into Game 3 in Atlanta on Thursday.
George was effective even though he spent much of the night defending Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who had 14 points.
The first 24 minutes looked like an exact duplicate of Game 1, but the Pacers pulled away with a 31-13 third quarter.
Tuesday's win gives the Pacers a brief respite from questions that have dogged them throughout their late-season swoon. TNT commentator Charles Barkley has been questioning the Pacers' toughness. But Indiana tightened up and got back to playing the kind of basketball it did during the first half of the season.
But the Pacers have won only two times since December 2006 in Atlanta.
Raptors 100, Nets 95 - DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds for his second straight playoff double-double, and host Toronto beat Brooklyn, evening their first-round playoff series at one game apiece.
Amir Johnson scored 16 points as the Raptors rebounded from a 94-87 loss in Game 1.
Joe Johnson scored 18 points, Deron Williams had 15, and Mirza Teletovic 14 for the Nets, who will host Game 3 on Friday night.
Hampered by foul trouble throughout the game, Brooklyn's Paul Pierce went 2 for 11 from the field, including 0 for 6 from three-point range. He finished with just seven points.
Wizards 101, Bulls 99 - Bradley Beal came on strong late in regulation to finish with 26 points, Nene scored six in overtime, and Washington beat Chicago on the road to take a two-games-to-none lead in their first-round series. Washington rallied from 10 down in the fourth quarter after blowing a 17-point first-quarter lead.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was named NBA coach of the year.
He has won the award twice in the last three seasons, and joins Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches in league history to win it three times.
Popovich led the Spurs to a league-best 62-20 record, which gives them home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Phoenix's Jeff Hornacek finished second and Chicago's Tom Thibodeau finished third in the voting by a panel of media members.
- Associated Press