for this game

Pacers keep playoff hopes alive with rout of Hawks

Apr 9, 2008 - 2:36 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Don't count the Indiana Pacers out just yet.

Mike Dunleavy scored 28 points to lead six others in double figures as the Pacers continued their postseason push with Tuesday's 112-98 blowout victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

The win moved Indiana (34-44) within two games of Atlanta (36-42) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with four games remaining.

"Maybe, it's a sense of urgency," Dunleavy said. "I think we've realized that the season is coming to an end, and we'd better pick it up. Unfortunately, it's a little late, but we'll see what happens. Two on the road and two at home, so we'll just have to take them one at a time and see what happens."

Flip Murray had 20 points and 10 assists and Danny Granger scored 16 for the Pacers, who shot a blistering 51 percent (41-of-80) from the field en route to their fifth win in six games.

"Win is the only thing we can do," Murray said. "Our job is to go out and win these last four games, and everything will take care of itself."

Indiana came out hitting on all cylinders as Dunleavy's 3-pointer with four seconds remaining in the first quarter helped create a 38-27 advantage.

"I thought we were going to be ready to play and we were," Pacers guard Travis Diener said. "The first six minutes were kind of slow, but we started to get out on the break some. Flip played outstanding. Mike hit shots again. We expected our effort to be there and it was.

"We expected to win, and we did. Now, we've got four games left and we're two back, so we're in a better position now than when we started the night."

The Pacers continued to pull away in the second as Marquis Daniels hit an 18-footer, sparking a 13-7 surge to close out the half to make it 67-52 at intermission.

Atlanta sliced its deficit to 97-87 at the 5:48 mark in the fourth on Joe Johnson's jumper. But Indiana never allowed its lead to dip below double digits the rest of the way.

"Well, you have to play four quarters, and we only played one," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "We got back in it. We cut it to 10 a couple of times (late), but we just didn't have enough. You can't spot this team 30 points."

Johnson scored 30 points and Josh Smith added 25 and 13 boards for the Hawks, who have four games left on the season with winnable matchups against New York and Miami.

"There's no question (we feel the last playoff spot is ours)," Hawks forward Marvin Williams said. "We've held onto it for a long time, but without a doubt, teams can make something happen and come and get it. We can get complacent. We have to finish on a high note."

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