By John Denton
For three quarters of Tuesday night’s season-opener, the Orlando Magic displayed the growth of a maturing team and the determination of one focused on making tremendous strides this season.
The veteran savvy and defensive toughness of the playoff-tested Indiana Pacers eventually won out in the deciding fourth quarter, but the blossoming Magic emerged from the deceptive 97-87 defeat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with plenty of positives to build upon moving forward.
Orlando (0-1) led the Pacers (1-0) by four points at halftime and it was within a point late in the third period – small victories, indeed, for a Magic team that was without three key contributors and possesses the NBA’s fifth-youngest roster.
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