Indiana Pacers registered their first win in the NBA playoffs, beating Atlanta Hawks 101-85 to level the seven-game series 1-1. Pacers, who were outplayed in the first encounter, displayed better teamwork and raced to a thumping win in their second home game.
Paul George was the star performer for Pacers as he scored 27 points, six assists and 10 rebounds. He played a crucial role in the big second-half run, when Pacers were trailing 52-48 at halftime. The hosts outplayed Hawks in the third quarter 13-31 and sealed the game, by winning the fourth 20-22.
George also received plenty of help from the other end as George Hill added 15 points, including 5-for-6 performance in the second half. Pacers also defended pretty well by keeping Jeff Teague in check, who only managed to score 14 points.
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said that his team were not able to execute the plans effectively and were completely outplayed by Pacers in the third quarter.
"Our execution on both ends of the court wasn't at the level we need it to be," Budenholzer said. "Give them credit, they were aggressive, they made a lot of plays and our execution, particularly in the third quarter has to be better. That's what we'll work on."
In the second match of the day, Toronto Raptors squared the series with Brooklyn Nets with a 100-94 win, courtesy of a dominating performance from DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan left his postseason troubles behind and delivered an impressive 30 points performance.
Out of the Raptors' 36 points in the final quarter, he scored 17. Jonas Valanciunas also had a good game with 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Amir Johnson and Lowry scored 16 and 14 points respectively.
Kevin Garnett added 13 points, while Shaun Livingston scored 12 for Nets but they failed to create a 2-0 lead. Paul Pierce finished the game with seven points as he was troubled by fouls all through the game.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey was impressed by DeRozan's performance and said that after a tough outing in the first game, he made a superb comeback.
"He bounced back, refocused," Casey said. "Making those free throws down the stretch was huge. For him to come through after a tough first game and everyone doubting him, I was really happy with that."
In the final game of the day, Washington Wizards took a 2-0 lead in the seven-match playoff series against Chicago Bulls. Bradley Beal helped Wizards prevail Bulls 101-99 as they blew a 17-point first quarter lead.
Bulls struggled with their offensive play in the final quarter as Wizards rallied from a 10-point deficit. Nene was kept in check by Joakim Noah in the regulation time but the big Brazilian added crucial six points in the overtime for the visitors.
In the closing stages of OT, Kirk Hinrich missed the free throw as Trevor Ariza grabbed the rebound the seal the match for Wizards.
DJ Augustin was the top-scorer for Bulls with 25 points, while Taj Gibson scorer 22 points and 10 rebounds. Defensive Player of the Year, Noah, was again impressive with 20 points.
Catch the highlights of Indiana Pacers v Atlanta Hawks HERE.
Catch the highlights of Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets HERE.
Catch the highlights of Washington Wizards v Chicago Bulls HERE.