By Scott Agness

For the first time in NBA franchise history, the Pacers hosted a Game 7 in their building. It was an electrifying atmosphere with screaming fans decked out in their Gold Out t-shirts.

It may have taken longer than they had hoped, but the Pacers looked like the better team with a 92-80 beating of the Atlanta Hawks Saturday evening at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. For the third consecutive season, the Pacers are on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, which they’ll open at home Monday night against the Washington Wizards.

The Pacers overcame some early jitters, 1-for-6 shooting and five turnovers in the first four minutes. Center Roy Hibbert hit 4-of-5 shots and scoring eight points in the first period.

The Pacers carried their momentum into the second half, where they scored 10 unanswered.

Roy Hibbert had his best game of the series with 13 points, seven rebounds and five swats in 31 minutes.

“I knew shots were eventually going to fall,” Hibbert said. “My teammates believed in me and we fed off of each other.”

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