When the Indiana Pacers needed a lift. Paul George stepped up. All over the court, over and over again.
George had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and the Pacers used a big second-half run to rally for a 101-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
George Hill scored each of his 15 points in the second half, helping top-seeded Indiana earn a split of the first two postseason games at home. George also had four steals and blocked a shot while helping keep Hawks point guard Jeff Teague in check.
"That's why he was in the MVP conversation early," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "He always does those types of things, guarding the best perimeter player, rebounding the ball, deflecting the ball. His hands were all over the place."
The Pacers sure needed it.
Indiana limited the Hawks to 33 second-half points and dominated the third quarter. Next up is Game 3 on Thursday in Atlanta, where the Pacers have only two wins since December 2006 -- though one of those closed out last year's first-round playoff series in six games.
"We want to build on what we've got going," Indiana forward David West said. "We want to continue to be aggressive. We know they're going to play better at home, but we're going down there to get back in charge of this series."
George was 9 for 16 from the field, including a 5-for-7 performance from 3-point range. He also went 4 for 4 at the line.
Wizards 101, Bulls 99: Bradley Beal came on strong late in regulation to finish with 26 points, Nene scored six of his 17 in overtime, and Washington beat Chicago to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round series. Washington rallied from 10 down in the fourth quarter after blowing a 17-point first-quarter lead. Nene scored the first six points in overtime after being held in check by Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah in regulation, and Washington hung on after Kirk Hinrich failed to convert at the foul line in the closing seconds.
Raptors 100, Nets 95: DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Toronto beat visiting Brooklyn, evening the first-round playoff series at one game apiece.
Joe Johnson scored 18 points, Deron Williams had 15 and Mirza Teletovic 14 for the Nets, who will host Game 3 on Friday night. Hampered by foul trouble throughout the game, Brooklyn's Paul Pierce went 2 for 11 from the field, including 0 for 6 from 3-point range. He finished with seven points. Kevin Garnett scored 13 points and Shaun Livingston had 12 for the Nets, who led 66-64 heading into the fourth and couldn't take advantage of 21 Toronto turnovers.
Coach of the year: San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was named NBA coach of the year on, making him just the third coach in league history to win the Red Auerbach trophy three times in his career. Popovich has received the league's top coaching honor in two of the past three seasons, joining former Warriors coach Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches to win the award three times. Popovich garnered 59 first-place votes and 380 total points in voting conducted by a panel of media members. Phoenix's Jeff Hornacek (37 first-place votes) finished second, and Chicago's Tom Thibodeau (12) finished third. Warriors coach Mark Jackson and Nets coach Jason Kidd each received one third-place vote. Popovich led the Spurs to a league-best 62-20 record.