Indiana finds right combination to put away Hawks 111-92

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Monta Ellis scored 25 points and Myles Turner added 20 in his first NBA start to lead the Indiana Pacers past the Atlanta Hawks 111-92 on Thursday.

The Pacers snapped a three-game losing streak by outscoring the Hawks 23-2 over the final 5 minutes, 34 seconds.

Atlanta was led by Indianapolis native Jeff Teague, who had 20 points, and Al Horford, who had 14. It was the Hawks’ second loss in two nights.

After spending most of the final three quarters playing catch-up, the Hawks took a 90-88 lead when Horford made a nifty cut for a dunk with 5:55 left in the game.

But the Pacers retook the lead with a 12-0 run flurry and limited Atlanta to only one more basket.

Ellis had struggled of late and was shooting just 27.9 percent from 3-point range coming into the game.

But Turner’s presence helped turn things around. Ellis was 7 of 11 from the field and 5 of 7 on 3s, while Turner, Indiana’s first-round draft pick, went 9 of 17 from the field and had six rebounds.

Turner broke a 63-63 tie in the third quarter by scoring seven straight points. After he returned midway through the fourth quarter, the Pacers regained control as George Hill made a 3-pointer, Paul George and Ellis combined to make five straight free throws, Ian Mahinmi scored on a dunk and Ellis hit another jumper to make it 100-90.

NEW LOOK

Before the game, coach Frank Vogel announced he was inserting Turner into the lineup in place of Lavoy Allen to give the Pacers a “spark.” Now it looks like the move could stick. “It looks on paper, like something I’m pretty excited about,” Vogel said. “If it’s a colossal failure we’ll go away from it sooner than later.”

TIP-INS

Hawks: Forward Paul Millsap did not play in the second half after spraining his left ankle. … The Hawks have lost two straight regular-season games to the Pacers after winning the previous four in a row. … The Hawks were just 7 of 28 on 3s and were outrebounded 49-32.

Pacers: Avoided losing their third straight home game, which would have been a season high. … Backup guard Rodney Stuckey has already missed two weeks with a sprained right foot and a bone bruise in the foot, and Vogel said he is expected to miss more time before he returns. … It was coaches’ night in Indy, with Colts coach Chuck Pagano and Butler basketball coach Chris Hollmann both attending the game.

UP NEXT

Hawks visit Heat on Sunday.

Pacers host Nuggets on Saturday.