Hawks forward Mike Scott and Pacers guard George Hill received double technical fouls after a brief, face-to-face exchange during the second quarter of Indiana's 95-88 road victory in Game 6 on Thursday.
With a little more than 20 seconds remaining before halftime and the Pacers leading 41-36, Scott and Hill became entangled underneath the hoop during a rebounding situation. Hill confronted Scott by walking towards him and pointing a finger in his face; Scott responded by shoving Hill in the face with both hands. The two players exchanged another set of shoves before they were separated.
The referees assessed one technical foul apiece to Scott and Hill and play resumed. It's unclear how Scott was able to avoid an ejection considering the direct shove to the face. It's possible that he could face a fine and/or a suspension for the incident.
Another potential issue: multiple members of the Pacers, including Paul George, left the bench and stepped onto the court during the brief altercation, potentially exposing themselves to a one-game suspension should the series continue to a Game 7.
Rule No. 12, Section VII Item C. of the NBA's rulebook states: "During an altercation, all players not participating in the game must remain in the immediate vicinity of their bench. Violators will be suspended, without pay, for a minimum of one game and fined up to $50,000."
None of the Pacers that left the bench actually came close to joining the fray, so a suspension here would seem to be an overly strict interpretation of the rules. Pacers coach Frank Vogel told reporters after the game that he didn't expect any discipline to arise from the situation.
Indiana prevailed thanks to David West, who finished with 24 points (on 10-for-20 shooting), 11 rebounds and six assists while carrying the Pacers down the stretch. George added 24 points (on 7-for-18 shooting), eight rebounds and three assists.
Jeff Teague scored a game-high 29 points (on 9-for-21 shooting) and added three rebounds for Atlanta. Paul Millsap added 16 points (on 4-for-13 shooting), 18 rebounds and five assists in a losing effort.
The first-round series is now tied at three games apiece. Game 7 is set for the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana on Saturday.