The hex. The curse. The jinx. The mental obstacle.

Whatever you like to call it, it’s finally over for the Indiana Pacers.

And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

After 13 failed trips to Atlanta over nearly a seven-year span, the Pacers walked off the court at Philips Arena with their heads held high after they eliminated the Hawks 81-73 to win their best-of-seven series 4-2 on Friday.

“It’s good to get over the mental hump,” Pacers center Roy Hibbert said. “I’ve been here since 2008, so it’s good to get the win.”

The Pacers are headed to the second round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season. They open their best-of-seven series against the New York Knicks on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks eliminated the Boston Celtics on Friday.

“They’re a great team, they played better than any team in the NBA over the last month or so,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said of the Knicks. “It’s going to be a tough matchup, to go into their building and get a road win, which we’ll have to do to win that series. We feel good about our matchup against anyone.”

The Pacers feel a lot better now that they got their first road victory since beating the Los Angeles Clippers on April 1.

The Pacers could have easily went with the mindset that Friday’s game wasn’t a big deal because Game 7 would be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Sunday.

That would have been a cowardly approach.

The Pacers embraced the challenge because they know they must win at New York at some point in the next series.