Point guard took matters into his own hands and scored 27 points on 8-of-20 shooting from the field and 11-of-13 from the line, adding 10 rebounds and three assists.
"The turnovers in the first half hurt us. In the second half, we battled hard and just couldn't get the ball in the basket. … Orlando's bench was key – Trevor Ariza had a big game – and overall they played well enough to win and we just weren't good enough."
Points in the Paint:
Magic 40, Pacers 26
Fast-break points:
Magic 13, Pacers 7
2nd-chance points:
Magic 10, Pacers 8
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 21, Magic 21
Starters scoring:
Pacers 65, Magic 58
Bench scoring:
Magic 37, Pacers 21
Including a 37-21 deficit Friday night, Indiana's bench has been outscored 86-42 in the last two games.
The Pacers return home to face Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday at Conseco Fieldhouse (7:00 p.m., FSN-Indiana).
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    O'Neal's Return Doesn't Help Pacers

    At Orlando | March 30, 2007

    Jermaine O'Neal's return was not enough to bring the Pacers back to life.

    Producing nearly twice as many turnovers (22) as assists (12), Indiana trailed throughout the second half on the way to a devastating 95-87 loss in Orlando Friday night that all but ended the Pacers' hopes of a 10th consecutive playoff berth.

    O'Neal, who missed Wednesday's 118-94 loss in New Jersey with a sprained left ankle, was back in the lineup but was ineffective, producing 10 points on 4-of-18 shooting while committing eight turnovers.

    The Pacers (31-41) slipped into a ninth-place tie with New York and fell 2½ games behind Orlando (34-39), which moved past New Jersey into seventh. The eighth-place Nets (33-39) are two games ahead of Indiana and own the playoff tie-breaker.

    With four consecutive losses, 11 a row on the road and 17 in 19 games, with their best player hobbled and their confidence shattered, the Pacers face the possibility of their worst record since 1988-89 (28-54), the season preceding their run of 16 out of 17 playoff berths.


    Jamaal Tinsley scored well, producing 27 points on 8-of-20 shooting from the field and 11-of-13 from the line, adding 10 rebounds. But he had just three assists and three turnovers as he and O'Neal combined to attempt half of the Pacers' 76 field-goal attempts. No other Indiana player was engaged enough in the offense to make a difference, which suggests a lapse in judgment somewhere in the decision-making chain. Tinsley and O'Neal combined to shoot 33.3 percent (12-of-38). The rest of the Pacers hit 52.6 percent (20-of-38).
    The second unit again struggled badly, outscored 37-21. The Pacers were outrebounded 43-33 and shot just 42.1 percent while yielding 47.5 percent to Orlando. The defense seemed overly concerned with center Dwight Howard, a marginal offensive threat, and allowed small forwards Grant Hill (22) and Trevor Ariza (17) to combine for 39 points. Hill scored 17 in the second half and personally quelled Indiana's only serious threat. With Hill going 14-of-16, the Magic outscored the Pacers 35-19 from the free-throw line. Orlando's reserves, led by Ariza, combined to make 12-of-16 from the field (75 percent).
    The Pacers shot well early but didn't capitalize. They were 12-of-17 in the first quarter but committed eight turnovers, five by O'Neal, allowing the Magic to trail just 27-26. Carlos Arroyo came off the bench to score seven points in a 13-0 run that gave the Magic a 43-32 lead midway through the second quarter.

    Indiana spooled up its defensive pressure in the third period and put together a 10-2 run to close to 55-51. Mike Dunleavy's 3-pointer made it 59-56 but the Pacers would not score in the final 3:55 of the period while Hill's repeated trips to the line keyed Orlando's eight-point run that gave the home team a 67-56 lead heading into the fourth.

    The Pacers scored the first two baskets of the final period to close to 67-60 but the Magic promptly put together a 12-6 run to effectively put it away.

  • The teams split the season series 2-2 but the Pacers currently hold the playoff tie-breaker by virtue of their better record against Eastern Conference teams (23-20 to Orlando's 21-24).
  • Indiana wore its 40th anniversary retro uniforms.
  • Dunleavy took a blow to the head when he fell into the basket support after fouling Hill in transition late in the third quarter but he returned to the game in the fourth quarter.
  • O'Neal, limping badly for much of the game, was removed with 5:17 remaining and did not return.