84 - 96 Final
  for this game

Pacers beat Hawks, move to 4-0 at home

Jan 12, 2012 - 3:28 AM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Danny Granger scored 24 points, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 96-84 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.

The Pacers improved to 4-0 at home for the first time since going 7-0 to start the 2002-03 season.

They led by as many as 24 points and snapped Atlanta's three-game winning streak, sending the Hawks home with their first loss since a triple-overtime thriller against Miami last week.

"No need to mention the defense," said Granger, proud of his team's effort, "because we think the defense against the third team in the East was very good."

David West, Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson scored 12 points apiece for the Pacers, who never trailed after the final minute of the second quarter. Hibbert had a game-high 11 rebounds.

Josh Smith scored 16 points to lead Atlanta and Joe Johnson had 15. Al Horford played just 5:52 before leaving the game with a left shoulder injury.

"Losing Al hurt a lot," said Johnson. "He's a good low post player for us. He's also a high-energy guy and a big piece of what we do. Missing him caused us to lack spacing on offense and a big presence down low on defense."

The Hawks will start a four-game homestand Thursday against Charlotte. The Pacers are in Toronto on Friday and play just three of their next 12 games at home.

Atlanta erased an 11-point deficit in the second quarter, taking a 50-49 lead on Jeff Teague's layup inside of a minute.

But the Pacers scored the next three points for a 53-50 halftime advantage, starting a 22-4 run that bled into the third quarter and gave them a 71-54 lead on Granger's layup.

Jeff Foster, Indiana's 6-foot-11 big man off the bench, knocked down his first three-pointer since 2008 at the buzzer to make it 80-59 heading into the fourth quarter and the game was never in doubt down the stretch.

"We work on that at the end of every practice," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said, smiling, about Foster's shot. "Seven seconds to go, get it to Jeff on the perimeter. He usually misses in practice."

Atlanta's Jason Collins was ejected from the game with 3.5 seconds left for a flagrant 2 foul after roughing up Lou Amundson near the bucket as the Indiana player went up for a shot.

Earlier, the Pacers led by as many as nine and shot 57.1 percent in the first quarter to carry a 28-20 lead into the second.

Game Notes

Atlanta had been 11-4 in the previous 15 meetings between the teams, including 9-2 in the last 11...Tracy McGrady (back spasms) missed the game for the Hawks.