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- In the sandwich game of a back-to-back-to-back – the only such set in the NBA this season – Indiana Coach Frank Vogel said he has no preconceived plan for managing minutes. Paul George played 44, George Hill 38 and David West 36 Monday in a 111-101 victory over Chicago. “We’ll keep an eye on them but it’ll probably be very similar to normal,” Vogel said. “We’ll be watching for signs of fatigue.” Vogel said he would like to extend minutes for second-unit players “if they’re playing well.”
- Hawks Coach Larry Drew said he isn’t game-planning specifically to try to exploit the Pacers’ potential fatigue. “We’re on the road playing against a hot team in their building. We want to focus on what we need to do moreso than them,” he said. “I know the tendency is to try to come out and get them into an up-and-down contest to see if they’re a little weary but we can’t play that way, especially on the road. … Playing like that has gotten us into trouble. We have to be disciplined.”
- Indiana brings a 14-game home winning streak into the game, the team’s longest since the franchise-record run of 25 in a row during the 1999-00 season. But the Pacers have dropped 13-of-15 to the Hawks, including two already this season.
- West has averaged 22.8 points on 61 percent shooting in the last five games, including 59 points in consecutive victories over the Heat and Bulls. “I don’t know if I’ve seen him play as well as he’s playing right now,” Vogel said. “He has such tremendous will to win these games and sometimes it comes down to that.”
- The top defensive team in the league for most of the season, the Pacers have surged offensively of late, averaging 104.4 points and .504 shooting in the last five games. They had seven games of at least 100 points in the first 43, but four in the last five. The Pacers also have topped 50 percent shooting in three of the last five after reaching that level just once in the first 43.
- Atlanta will remain seriously shorthanded tonight as Devin Harris (left foot) and Zaza Pachulia (right Achilles tendon) will not play. Pachulia will miss his third game in a row, Harris his second. Johan Petro, who missed the last four games with a sore back, is a game-time decision.
- Conrad Brunner