Pacers learn from Atlanta loss in April

Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel makes a sign for his team during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday, March 30, 2014, in Cleveland. Cleveland defeated Indiana 90-76. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel makes a sign for his team during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday, March 30, 2014, in Cleveland. Cleveland defeated Indiana 90-76. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The last time the Pacers hosted the Hawks, things ended in disaster.

A 19-point loss, their worst half in franchise history, that game served as the breaking point for a team spiraling out of control. As they prepare to square off in round one of the playoffs, that loss still lingers.

“It’s on my mind,” said Pacers forward Paul George. “I remember what they did to us, that can’t be accepted.”

Despite a parade of lineups on the floor that night and Roy Hibbert spending most of the night on the bench, Frank Vogel said there’s still a lot to learn from.

“Just how they did what they did and what we’ve got to do differently,” said Vogel. “More than anything, I think we just gained a healthy respect of what they’re capable of. They’re a terrific basketball team. I don’t care what the numbers say, they’ve gotten better as the season went along, and they’re playing their best basketball right now.”

The Pacers open the playoffs on Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.

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