Former Butler star Shelvin Mack made clutch free throws down the stretch as the Atlanta Hawks survived a furious comeback by the Indiana Pacers to win Game 5 of their first-round series 107-97 on Monday in Indianapolis.
The Hawks lead the series 3-2, with Game 6 slated for 7 p.m. Thursday in Atlanta.
Mack finished with a team-high 20 points. Paul Milsap added 18 for the Hawks.
Paul George led the Pacers with 26 points.
The Pacers led 21-20 after one quarter, but it was all downhill from there.
Atlanta scored the first 13 points of the second quarter, 12 of them on 3-pointers by reserve Mike Scott. He hit five 3-pointers in the quarter and scored 17 points in the period, just two less than the Pacers scored as a team. The Hawks outscored Indiana 41-19 in the second quarter to take a 61-40 halftime lead.
Atlanta bumped the lead to 30 points when DeMarre Carroll hit a 3-pointer to make it 80-50 with 7:07 left in the third quarter. The Pacers were able to close the gap to 20 by the end of the period.
Reserves Chris Copeland and C.J. Watson fueled the fourth-quarter comeback. Copeland hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open the quarter. Watson hit a layup that cut Atlanta’s lead to single digits, at 96-87, with 4:03 left in the game. But Atlanta hit enough clutch shots to hold on.