ATLANTA (AP) — When Ivan Johnson is banging around in the lane and staring down opponents, the Atlanta Hawks are a different team.
They hope the rugged, bearded forward can keep it up in Game 4 of the playoffs against the Indiana Pacers.
While Al Horford was the star of Atlanta's Game 3 rout, it was Johnson who set the physical tone the Hawks so desperately needed after losing the first two games in Indianapolis. He played more than 26 minutes off the bench, scoring seven points, grabbing seven rebounds and picking up five fouls in 90-69 blowout.
Johnson's defensive presence helped free up Horford to focus more on the offensive end. He responded with 26 points.
The Hawks will try to even the best-of-seven series at two wins apiece on Monday night.