INDIANAPOLIS -- When the Indiana Pacers needed a lift. Paul George stepped up. All over the court, over and over again. George had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and the Pacers used a big second-half run to rally for a 101-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series. George Hill scored each of his 15 points in the second half, helping top-seeded Indiana earn a split of the first two post-season games at home. George also had four steals and blocked a shot while helping keep Hawks point guard Jeff Teague in check. "Thats why he was in the MVP conversation early," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "He always does those types of things, guarding the best perimeter player, rebounding the ball, deflecting the ball. His hands were all over the place. It makes him one of the most complete players in the game when he plays like he did tonight."" The Pacers sure needed it. For seven weeks, Indiana heard everyone question its fortitude, team chemistry, even whether it was worthy of a No. 1 seed. The complaints grew louder after Saturdays 101-93 loss. George and his teammates spent the next 72 hours seeking solutions and defiantly insisting they would be OK. On Tuesday, they finally reverted to their early season from. Indiana limited the Hawks to 33 second-half points and dominated the third quarter. Next up is Game 3 on Thursday in Atlanta, where the Pacers have only two wins since December 2006 -- though one of those closed out last years first-round playoff series in six games. "We want to build on what weve got going," Indiana forward David West said. "We want to continue to be aggressive. We know theyre going to play better at home, but were going down there to get back in charge of this series." George was 9 for 16 from the field, including a 5-for-7 performance from 3-point range. He also went 4 for 4 at the line. Perhaps more importantly, he managed to contain Teague after he burned Indiana for 28 points in Game 1. George wanted the responsibility of guarding Teague, who had seven points in the first quarter and seven more for the rest of the game. "I sat down and it was homework for me, just locking into his tendencies and figuring out where I will get beat or where Im vulnerable against him," George said. "Its a challenge." George was the catalyst, but he had plenty of help. Hill, who had been mired in an offensive funk, made 5 of 6 shots in the second half. Luis Scola, who kept the Pacers close when West got into early foul trouble, finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. The defence that gave up 11 3-pointers in Game 1 and eight more in the first half of Game 2, allowed just two over the final 24 minutes. "Our execution on both ends of the court wasnt at the level we need it to be," Hawks coach Mike 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. Thats what well work on." Indiana appeared to be in trouble when it trailed 38-27 in the second quarter and was still down 52-48 at halftime. But the Pacers stormed into the lead with a 31-13 third quarter. West sparked a 25-2 run with a bank shot that made it 70-65 with 3:20 left in the third. George made a buzzer-beating 3 to make it 79-65 heading into the fourth, and the Pacers scored the first eight points of the final period. "If thats what it took for everyone to understand how close this team is, thats what it was," George said. "Weve got each others back and thats what it felt like." NOTES: Atlanta was trying to open a playoff series with two straight road wins for the first time since the St. Louis Hawks swept Baltimore 3-0 in the 1966 Western Division semifinals. ... Defending Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan attended the game. ... Atlanta outscored Indiana 30-16 in the third quarter Saturday. DaShawn Hand Lions Jersey
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. Minutes after the previously winless Colts got their first win, 27-13 over Tennessee, team vice chairman Bill Polian said the four-time league MVP will not play this season though he has begun throwing to teammates at the team complex. NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne is expected to start Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his return from a hip injury that has limited him to only nine games this season. The Predators recalled Rinne from a two-game conditioning assignment Monday and announced that he would start the Penguins game. "Its a blast to be back playing and feeling good," Rinne said. "I think thats the main thing. Absolutely, Im just super excited." Rinne, who hasnt played in an NHL game since Oct. 22, stopped 33 of 35 shots for a .946 save percentage during his two-game stint with the AHLs Milwaukee Admirals. "Its not in the same level -- the AHL and NHL -- theres a little bit of a gap between," Rinne said. "But still, that was the whole purpose of that trip, just to feel comfortable again, get some games and get that game conditioning going again." Rinne, a two-time Vezina Trophy finalist, has been recovering from an E. coli infection in his suurgically repaired left hip.dddddddddddd In his last five games before the injury, Rinne went 3-1-1 with a 1.60 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage. The 31-year-old Rinne is returning as the Predators make a late-season bid for one of the Western Conferences eight playoff spots. The Predators are 12th in the Western Conference standings with 62 points. The Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks are tied for eighth with 66 points. "You cant just throw a guy in there and expect him to be the saviour," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "But just getting him back playing is a great boost because you know the type of player that he is, the type of person he is and what he can mean to our hockey team, not only this year but the next year and the following years." The Predators also placed goaltender Devan Dubnyk on waivers Monday. The 27-year-old Dubnyk has played 32 games for the Edmonton Oilers and two games with the Predators this season. Wholesale NFL Womens Jerseys Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Nike NFL Jerseys China Stitched Jerseys
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