The Indiana Pacers, who had never won an NBA playoff series before this year, are one victory from their first trip to the Eastern Conference finals after defeating top-seeded Atlanta again Sunday at Indianapolis.
The Pacers took a 3-1 lead in the series with a 102-86 victory, the Pacers’ second easy victory in two days over the Hawks.
Indiana made a franchise playoff-record 11 three-pointers in 17 attempts. Reggie Miller made four and finished with a team-high 25 points. The Pacers shot 52.3%.
Danny Manning scored a career playoff-high 35 points for the Hawks, who shot only 42%.
Despite rumors of trouble between Larry Brown and Manning in the past, the Indiana coach said, “As a coach, this is probably the way I would have written the script, to have Danny have a great game on national TV and us winning the game. He was phenomenal.”
Brown coached Manning at Kansas and with the Clippers.
Former Laker Byron Scott scored 13 points for the Pacers to bring his career playoff total to 2,236. He needs five more to surpass Bob Pettit for 17th place on the NBA’s career list.
Atlanta’s Kevin Willis, who was limited to only 23 minutes after suffering a knee injury when he collided with Manning, missed all five of his shots from the field and made only two free throws. Willis said he expects to play in Game 5 Tuesday.