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<p>Paul George #24 of the Indiana Pacers taking a shot against the Atlanta Hawks of the Atlanta Hawks against of the Indiana Pacers on January 8, 2014 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images. </p>

Paul George #24 of the Indiana Pacers taking a shot against the Atlanta Hawks of the Atlanta Hawks against of the Indiana Pacers on January 8, 2014 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images.

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In the Eastern Conference, Hawks defend a top spot

Going into Friday, Jan. 10’s matchup versus “The Beard” (James Harden) and the Houston Rockets (23-13), the Hawks (19-17) have proven to be a team with a persevering spirit that is producing a winning attitude and results.