Friday, March 8th, 2013 at 7:00 PM EST at Amway Center
Game Preview: IND at ORL
Scott Agness | March 6, 2013 | Last Updated: March 6 at 8:03 PM
The Pacers break away from snow-covered Indianapolis for some warmth, heading down to Florida for the weekend. Before their much-anticipated third meeting with the Miami Heat on Sunday, the Pacers look to redeem themselves in Orlando after a poor showing against the Magic in mid-January.
Orlando (17-45), plays its next three games at home before heading out on the road for four in a row, including a stop in Indianapolis. They have the second-worst record in the NBA, just in front of the Charlotte Bobcats. In the offseason, they traded away their centerpiece, an unhappy Dwight Howard, and essentially rebooted. Last season, they fell to the Pacers in the first round of the playoffs, and now they’re competitive for the top pick in June’s draft.
Arron Afflalo leads the Magic with about 17 points per game, just ahead of newcomer Tobias Harris’ 16.8 ppg. Just before February’s trade deadline, the Magic acquired Harris along with Doron Lamb and Beno Udrih from Milwaukee in exchange for J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayón and Ish Smith.
Center Nikola Vucevic has put himself in the conversation for most improved player this season by upping his points (12.1) and rebounding (11.2) averages by almost seven points and six rebounds per contest. Last time he faced the Pacers, Vucevic led the Magic with 16 points and 15 boards and got Roy Hibbert in foul trouble.
Also since their last meeting, former Pacer Al Harrington returned to action after rehabbing from a knee surgery and then a staph infection. He’s played about 14 minutes in each of their last five games.
As the Pacers head into their final 20 games, winning on the road, where they’re 13-16, is one of their top priorities. Most of their problems came at the beginning of the season – they lost six of their first seven road games – as they dealt with changes due to Danny Granger’s absence. They have won their last three away from Indy.
Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee)
Magic: Glen Davis (out, fractured left foot), Hedo Turkoglu (out, 20-game NBA suspension for violating the NBA’s anti-drug program)
- The Pacers have lost three in a row to the Magic and they haven’t won in Orlando since December 2007.
- The Magic have utilized 19 different starting lineups, tied for the most this season.
- Magic forward Al Harrington was drafted by the Pacers in 1998 and he played with the team from 1998-2004 and 36 games in 2006.
- Second-year guard E’Twaun Moore won a state title at East Chicago Central and played at Purdue University from 2007-2011.
The Magic, losers in 11 of their previous 12, surged ahead from the beginning to upset the Pacers 97-86. The Magic used a 32-8 run and led by 16 at the break. Coming off a 27-point crushing of Charlotte, the Pacers looked lackadaisical and disinterested.
Paul George led the Pacers with 20 points and 10 rebounds; George Hill had 15 and David West added 14. The Magic shot 46.5 percent from the field and 57 percent of their outside shots. Nikola Vucevic paced the Magic with 16 points and 15 rebounds; Arron Afflalo finished with 15 and J.J. Redick, no longer with the team, added 14.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst), Michael Grady (host)/>