INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Dikembe Mutombo scored 25 points, Steve Smith had 21 and the Atlanta Hawks improved to 8-0 for the best start in franchise history as they beat the Indiana Pacers 89-86 Wednesday night.
Mookie Blaylock added 18 points, including a basket and a free throw in the last 10 seconds. Smith had a basket and three free throws in the last two minutes.
Travis Best had an open 3-point attempt from the left side with 0.8 seconds left, but it rimmed out. He was taking the final shot because Reggie Miller, who scored 30 points, fouled out with 1:21 to play. It was just his second disqualification in the past three seasons.
Rik Smits added 21 points for the Pacers.
Atlanta surpassed the 7-0 start by the franchise in 1967-68, its last season in St. Louis. The Hawks, the last unbeaten team in the Eastern Conference, have yet to allow 100 points in a game.
Indiana erased Atlanta’s nine-point halftime lead by the end of the third quarter as Smits put back a miss by Jalen Rose to tie the game at 65-65 just before the end of the period.
The Hawks built their first-half lead by shooting 54 percent from the field to Indiana’s 31. Mutombo led the way with a 10-for-14 shooting, 21-point first half.
The Hawks, who had a 27-15 rebounding advantage in the first half, also benefited from eight offensive boards _ five by Mutombo.
Notes: Miller was playing on a sprained right ankle which was still in a brace and sore. He turned it last Wednesday at Detroit. ... Chris Mullin attempted just his 3-pointer of the season in the first half. He missed, making him 1-for-3 this season. Mullin took 202 3-pointers last season. ... Alan Henderson returned to his hometown averaging 11 points and six rebounds off the bench. He did had nine points and four boards in front of a large group of friends and family. ... Atlanta shot 52 percent from the field against a Pacers team that had held opponents to .409 in their previous six games.