Rewind: Pacers vs. Magic 120204
Saturday, Feb. 4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Magic 85, Pacers 81
By Conrad Brunner
Two proud but tired teams traded bumps, grinds, elbows and knees -- not to mention eight technical fouls -- in a pre-Super Bowl bash with all the atmosphere of the postseason.
Orlando led 62-53 entering the fourth quarter but Tyler Hansbrough (17 points) and Paul George (13) sparked a rally that cut the deficit to 69-68 with 7:29 left. But Indiana missed 11 in a row as Orlando put together a 9-3 run to take an 80-73 run, then held on as the Pacers again tried to rally.
Danny Granger had an open 3-pointer that would've tied the game with 12 seconds left but it rimmed out and Orlando closed out the game at the free-throw line.
The loss snapped a four-game win streak for Indiana (16-7), while Orlando (15-9) won its third in a row.
BY THE NUMBERS
Granger led the Pacers with 19 points but shot 4-of-16 overall, 2-of-9 from the 3-point line. Hansbrough scored 17 with seven rebounds, George 13 with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Roy Hibbert had 10 points for the Pacers, who shot 34 percent and had more turnovers (16) than assists (12). Darren Collison scored 10 points but registered zero assists for the second time against Orlando this season.
Dwight Howard led Orlando with 27 points. Jason Richardson scored 17. Ryan Anderson added 12 and Hedo Turkoglu had 10 rebounds. Orlando shot 40.3 percent overall but committed 25 turnovers.
"Tough loss for us after a real strong week. We never got into a rhythm offensively. When it came down to the stretch we had some really good looks." - Pacers Coach Frank Vogel
"(Fatigue) is going to catch up to you. It caught up to the Magic, the whole league is going through it." - Vogel
"This is one of those tough games that we’re going to have. I would like to have it back. I think I would have played that last play a little bit different and gone after the ball. This is a game where we made some mistakes and as I said before if we could play it over we would do things differently and maybe be a little stronger and a little tougher." - Hibbert
"This is one of the games where shots didn’t fall. But I think we defended pretty well and just couldn’t get our rhythm together to make shots and do the other necessary things you do to win ball games." - Hansbrough
"We fought and battled and just couldn’t get up over the hump. It was one of those nights. We’re going to have those nights. We have to regroup, get ourselves together and move on. Orlando is a very good basketball team and they will fight you till the end." - George
STAT OF THE GAME
The Pacers are 12-0 when they make at least one-third of their 3-point attempts. They were 3-of-18 (.167) against the Magic and fell to 4-7 when they shoot below .333 from the arc.
Looking for some kind of offensive spark all night long, the Pacers finally found it in Hansbrough, who scored seven in a row early in the fourth quarter, trimming the deficit to 65-62. Indiana's defensive pressure also was ramped up as Orlando missed its first six shots and committed four turnovers in the opening minutes of the period.
A four-point play by J.J. Redick gave Orlando some breathing room but George hit a 3-pointer and then drove for a three-point play, and the deficit was down to one.
But that's where the rally stopped as the Pacers missed their next 11 shots as Orlando put together a 9-3 run to put it away.
The third quarter has typically been the Pacers' best but this one was controlled by Orlando as the Magic came out of the locker room with a 14-2 run to take a 53-41 lead as Indiana committed six turnovers and missed five of six shits in the first seven minutes of the quarter. Granger finally made his first bucket of the game (after missing his first six) and warmed up to score eight in the period as the Pacers tried to cut into the lead but the Magic took a 62-53 advantage into the fourth.
Neither team found much in the way of offensive rhythm in the first half. The Pacers shot 38.1 percent and had just six assists. Orlando shot 38.6 percent and committed 13 turnovers. And so they headed to the locker room in a 39-all tie.
The Magic controlled the early minutes of the game, bolting to a 23-13 lead as the Pacers came out cold. But the second unit brought life as Tyler Hansbrough sparked a surge that whittled the lead to 29-25 and Collison took it from there, scoring six of the Pacers' final eight points.
Quentin Richardson was ejected for shoving Granger with 1:17 left in the third quarter. Reacting to an inadvertent elbow from Granger on a loose ball situation, Richardson stalked Granger, got in his face and started yapping before shoving the Indiana forward. Hansbrough and Earl Clark became involved in the scrum and picked up double technicals. … The Pacers missed sixth man George Hill (chip fracture, left ankle) for the third game in a row. He is out indefinitely with no timetable for a return. … Jeff Foster missed his 11th straight game with a sore lower back. … With the Super Bowl in Indianapolis Sunday, the arena was brimming with celebrities including comic actor Adam Sandler, rapper 50 Cent, boxer Floyd Mayweather, members of the band O.A.R., pop singer Nicki Minaj, former NBA standout Gary Payton and former Pacers Travis Best, Rik Smits and Derrick McKey. Former Colts player Ben Utecht, now a full-time musician, sang the national anthem. … Orlando was without point guard Jameer Nelson (concussion-like symptoms) and backup big man Glen "Big Baby" Davis, serving the second of a two-game team suspension. … Coach Stan Van Gundy said he hopes Nelson can return Monday but does not expect him to be in condition to handle his usual minutes.
After a couple of much-needed days off, the Pacers have another first -- a second home game in a row Tuesday against the Utah Jazz (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). It's the only meeting between the Pacers and Jazz, who bring former Butler star Gordon Hayward to Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Utah swept the series last season.