Game Rewind: Pacers 95, Magic 86
The Indiana Pacers have dominated the Magic as of late, and that trend continued tonight with a 95-86 victory in the Amway Center in Orlando. Indiana has now won 10 of its last 11 against the Magic.
“This is an inexperienced team,” Pacers forward Paul George said. “We tend to let the experienced teams kind of make the plays late to beat us. Tonight we imposed ourselves onto this young team.”
Indiana jumped out to an 11-2 advantage, as Orlando was ice cold in the early going. The Magic started the game shooting just 1-of-9 from the floor.
The nice lead wouldn’t last though, as the Pacers committed six turnovers in the first, and those mistakes let Orlando climb back into the contest. At the end of the first, Indiana led 22-20.
In the second quarter, Orlando grabbed its first lead of the game thanks to Shabazz Napier. The Magic missed their first 12 attempts from beyond the arc, but the 13th shot, courtesy of Napier, found the bottom of the net, giving Orlando a 30-28 lead with 6:42 left in the period.
The Magic grew its lead to six, but Indiana battled back with a late 5-0 run to only trail by one when the halftime buzzer sounded.
Like the opening quarter, the Pacers got off to a great start in the third. Through the quarter’s first seven minutes, Indiana outscored Orlando 20-12 to open up a 57-50 advantage. During the run, George led the charge with seven points.
But Orlando responded with a run of its own, cutting the Pacers’ lead to two, forcing a Frank Vogel timeout with 2:50 remaining. The self-imposed stoppage clearly worked though, as Indiana outscored the Magic 9-4 the rest of the way to lead 66-59 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the final period, it was the Magic who got off to the great start, cutting the lead to two. Indiana, though, kept the youthful Magic at bay. The Pacers controlled the next six or so minutes, eventually extending their lead to 11 with a little more than two minutes to play.
Orlando made one last charge, scoring eight straight to make it a three-point game with 58.1 seconds left, but on the ensuing possession, Monta Ellis drew a foul and sank both free throws to put Indiana up five. The Magic failed to score its next time on offense, and Indiana iced the game from the charity stripe to earn its 20th victory of the season.
“We are going to have games like that and we just have to come together like we did, get some defensive stops and score the basket like we did and attack and get to the free throw line,” Ellis said.
Paul George led the Pacers in scoring with 20 and also grabbed seven rebounds. Monta Ellis had a nice game as well, finishing with 19 points and seven assists. After missing a game with food poisoning, George Hill contributed 16 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Orlando was led by former Indiana Hoosier, Victor Oladipo. Oladipo scored a team high 20 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists. Big man Nikola Vucevic added 17 points and four rebounds.
Inside the Numbers
Ian Mahinmi had the team’s best +/- rating with a +22.
Paul George (9-of-9) and Monta Ellis (6-of-6) were perfect from the free-throw line.
Stat of the Night
The Magic shot 6-of-31 from beyond the arc, a 19.4% clip.
You Can Quote Me On That
“Early on, I felt like we were just wide open all over the place and just couldn’t make them. And that happens certain nights. When that happens we tend to, instead of staying with it, we start over dribbling and go one-on-one sometimes.” — Scott Skiles
“Both teams were pretty drained. This was a defensive battle. Both teams couldn’t make shots and it came down to that last separation and we did a good job of doing so.” — Paul George
“[Monta Ellis] was great. Sealed the game for us with all those free throws. Making big plays, we like to put the ball in his hands in games and let him make reads. Made some big passes, made some big shots, hit a desperation three which was a big play. He was great tonight.” — Frank Vogel