Atlanta, GA – With Atlanta's Al Horford on the bench saddled with foul trouble in the third quarter, the Indiana Pacers charged back.
Once Horford returned, he and Josh Smith helped the Hawks stave them off.
Smith tallied a playoff career-high 29 points to go with 11 rebounds, while Horford netted 18 points in the Hawks' 102-91 win over the Pacers in Game 4 of this Eastern Conference first-round series.
Atlanta led by 17 at the break, but Horford picked up two quick fouls in the beginning stages of the third quarter and exited with four personals. The Pacers relentlessly attacked the rim for the duration of the frame, outscoring Atlanta 18-4 in the paint for the period, to whittle the halftime deficit to seven entering the fourth.
But Horford returned to pour in 10 points during the final stanza, while Smith added seven to hand Indiana its 13th straight defeat at Philips Arena and knot the set at 2-2.
"Our crowd has been unbelievable for these two (home) games," Smith said. "They've definitely played a part in our success at home. In order for us to be successful in Indiana we have to able to get off to a good start, number one and try our best to be able to control the momentum of the game for 48 minutes."
Once again the Hawks inserted Johan Petro into the starting lineup, although his availability was in question due to the birth of his child. Horford started at power forward and Smith again manned the three-spot.
Kyle Korver, the starter at small forward over the first two games of this series, nailed five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points off the bench in the triumph.
Paul George registered 21 points, 12 boards and four steals for Indiana, which will host Game 5 on Wednesday.
"We had a number of breakdowns. They got a couple on second shots which we know they're going to out for the three point line ... We weren't accountable for Korver. A lot of stuff that Korver gets from the three point line is a result of how they force you to help out on pick and rolls or the post," Indiana head coach Frank Vogel said.
A 7-0 Pacers spurt vaulted them to a 21-14 lead late in the opening frame before a 22-3 extended Hawks run that bled into the second helped them seize control of the contest.
Atlanta recorded the last eight points of the first to head into the second with a 22-21 edge.
Anthony Tolliver and Korver knocked down triples, wrapped around a Tyler Hansbrough 1-of-2 effort from the line. Tolliver nailed another trey a bit later and Smith, who had seven points during the surge, capped it by splitting a pair of foul shots to give Atlanta a 36-24 cushion with 8:39 remaining in the frame.
Korver hit on all three of his 3-point attempts in the stanza for the Hawks, who went 7-of-8 from beyond the arc and shot 60 percent (12-of-20) in the second to aid them to a 57-40 advantage entering the locker room.
Assisted by a 15-1 swing with Horford on the pine, Indiana stormed back in the third. David West began the burst with a three-point play and Ian Mahinmi concluded it with a layup to pull the Pacers within 65-61.
Atlanta had missed 13 straight shots until Devin Harris' layup with 1:34 left in the quarter upped the margin to 69-61 before entering the fourth with a 69-62 spread.
Lance Stephenson's runner got Indiana within 86-81 with 4:06 to play, but threes by Smith and Korver, sandwiched around two West free throws upped the lead to 92-83.
George then hit two free throws and drained a jumper to get Indiana within five with 1:46 on the clock. Atlanta, though, answered and salted the game away.
Horford hit a straightaway jumper and a George miss from beyond the arc led to a 3-on-1 break, which Smith finished with a right-handed slam for a 96-87 edge with 1:06 to play.
Indiana never got within less than seven the rest of the way.
Atlanta shot 44.6 percent (33-of-74) from the floor and 45.6 percent (11- of-24) from beyond the arc ... Indiana hasn't beaten the Hawks in Atlanta since 2006 ... Indiana held a 42-28 points in the paint edge.