DANNY GRANGER
Converted 12-of-12 free throws and 3-of-6 from the 3-point line on his way to 29 points, adding four rebounds and two steals.
Name Min. +/- Name Min. +/-
Marquis Daniels 18:08 +10 David Harrison DNP ---
Travis Diener 27:11 -11 Troy Murphy 20:26 +8
Ike Diogu DNP --- Jermaine O'Neal DNP ---
Mike Dunleavy 33:39 -16 Andre Owens DNP ---
Jeff Foster 27:34 -14 Kareem Rush 30:03 -14
Stephen Graham DNP --- Jamaal Tinsley 20:38 +3
Danny Granger 37:42 +3 Shawne Williams 24:39 +1
Season plus-minus | Box score
  • Points in the paint: Pacers 36, Magic 28
  • Fast-break points: Magic 9, Pacers 5
  • Second-chance points: Pacers 16, Magic 5
  • Points off turnovers: Magic 20, Pacers 14
  • Starters scoring: Magic 98, Pacers 75
  • Bench scoring: Pacers 40, Magic 23
  • In the last 14 games, the Pacers have allowed an average of 110.0 points and all but one opponent – Miami with 98 – topped 100.
    The fourth and final game of the season's longest homestand comes Tuesday against the San Antonio Spurs (7 p.m., FSN-Indiana, WFNI-AM 1070).
  • Plus-minus rankings
  • Box score
  • Orlando 121, Indiana 115
    Pacers can't contain Orlando's offense

    By Conrad Brunner | Feb. 2, 2008


    The frustrating trend that has wrecked a homestand, and possibly much, much more, continued for the Pacers Saturday night in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    Playing well most of the game, in position to win with plenty of time remaining, they couldn't come up with either of the ingredients that lead to victories in close games – big shots or key stops – and wound up falling 121-115 to the Orlando Magic.

    It was the sixth loss in a row and 16th in 20 games for the Pacers (19-29) while Orlando (31-18) won its fourth straight and seventh in eight games.

    "They shot lights-out. They shot great," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien. "We didn't do enough defensively to stop a great offensive team. We just did not have enough at the defensive end for them."

    In a matchup of the two highest-scoring teams in the Eastern Conference, the Magic prevailed because they had an inside presence to complement their perimeter game. Dwight Howard had 24 points and 12 rebounds and attracted enough attention to create space for his teammates to shoot .557 overall and 14-of-25 (.560) from the 3-point line.

    "The difference," said Orlando Coach San Van Gundy, "is we have Dwight (Howard) and they don’t."

    In the absence of Jermaine O'Neal, whose return is nowhere in sight, the Pacers must rely on movement, tempo, good shot selection and timely defense. They've gotten most of those elements for most of the past several games until the fourth quarter.

    In all six games of their current losing streak, they've either led or been within four points during the fourth quarter. Against the Magic, the Pacers rallied from a 105-93 deficit with eight straight points, five from Mike Dunleavy, to close to 105-101 with 5:34 remaining. But the offense went dry, producing just two baskets in the next six minutes while Orlando put together a 12-6 run to put the game away.

    With O'Brien shifting back to a small lineup, Danny Granger led the scoring with 29 points, hitting all 12 of his free throws and 3-of-6 from the 3-point line. Dunleavy scored 19 with seven rebounds and five assists, but shot 5-of-15 and committed five turnovers. Troy Murphy scored 17 with six rebounds off the bench, but had just two points and one rebound in the second half. Kareem Rush returned to the starting lineup and scored 13 and Shawne Williams had his second productive game in a row off the bench with 12.

    The Pacers made 14-of-34 from the 3-point line (.412) and committed just 12 turnovers but Orlando shot .557 and had six players score at least 16 points: Howard, Hedo Turkoglu (23), Rashard Lewis (19) and Maurice Evans, Carlos Arroyo and Keith Bogans (16 apiece).

    "Giving up 120 points is not good defense," said Dunleavy. " We have to really work on that. They are a good basketball team, no a very good basketball team, maybe the top in the East. We’ve got to keep coming in, working hard and improving to get ourselves in a little better position. I think if we do this good things can happen to us."

    Travis Diener had a career-high 10 assists against his former team but tweaked the right foot injury that has bothered him the past two weeks. Jamaal Tinsley had five assists in 21 minutes off the bench but aggravated the left knee injury that sidelined him three of the previous four games.


    PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN
    “Turkoglu is one hell of a basketball player. A couple times we were draped all over him and he made great shots. They shot lights out. We did not do enough defensively to stop a great offensive team. I think the effort of our guys throughout this has been terrific. To their credit, I thought our guys competed their butts off the last three games against three very good teams. Both points guards tweaked injuries in the first half (Travis Diener right foot, Jamaal Tinsley left knee). When Jamaal came back off the inactive list, he had missed 10 of 21 games and I’m concerned about his ability to sustain. He’s been fighting knee difficulties all year.”

    Listen to Coach O'Brien's postgame press conference
    PACERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER
    (on each teams’ shooting percentage) "Obviously, that would tell you that we had some defensive breakdowns and we have to work on that along with other parts of our game. Looks like maybe the middle part of the game we have breakdowns for some reason. Orlando is a very good basketball team with three great players (Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis). Fatigue has become a little bit of a problem mentally and physically."
    (on Tim Duncan coming in) "They are two different ballplayers. Duncan is more of a finesse where Dwight is more a physical and dunker around the bucket. I wanted to distribute the basketball more in the third quarter and wanted to get my teammates more involved."
    (On being a go-to player) "I want to work on that and hopefully can do that.”
    PACERS GUARD MIKE DUNLEAVY
    “Tonight was no different from any other NBA game. We compete and play against good ballplayers night in and night out. Giving up 120 points is not good defense. We have to really work on that. They are a good basketball team, no a very good basketball team, maybe the top in the East. We’ve got to keep coming in, working hard and improving to get ourselves in a little better position. I think if we do this good things can happen to us.”
    MAGIC COACH STAN VAN GUNDY
    “Offensively we’ve played really well two nights in a row. Some nights it’s hard to tell if it’s us or them. We did show very good resolve."
    (On three pointers) There were 16 in the first half."
    (General) " The difference is we have Dwight (Howard) and they don’t. Until these last two games, our defense had gotten better. We didn’t play defense this game. If we want to be a really good team our defense needs to get back."
    (On Danny Granger) "I think we wore him out. I thought we played Dunleavy well tonight. Troy Murphy hurt us. I thought Dwight Howard did a good job in a tough situation. We found a way to get it done. One of the keys to a team getting better is (learning) without losing. I still look at Jameer (Nelson) as our point guard. I can’t play five guards. They’ll probably take turns being the guy out of the rotation.”
    MAGIC CENTER DWIGHT HOWARD
    “It was crazy down the stretch. We got some loose balls and some good calls but this is the second game in a row that we gave up 60-plus points in a half but were still able to pull out the win. It seemed when we needed big shots down the stretch Hedo (Turkoglu) and Rashard (Lewis) hit some key buckets. We really want to be greedy right now before the All Star break. We didn’t want to have a let down and wanted to put ourselves in a better position for the second half of the season. Indiana is a great team. They play real well at home. We were hoping they wouldn’t make some of the shots down the stretch, but some they did and some they didn’t and that worked to our advantage. In the second half, Coach told us at halftime we needed to pick up our intensity at the defensive end and not give them so many open looks on their threes and doing more hard work on our individual defense. What can you say about Turkoglu? When he gets the ball in any position to shoot, it seems he has no fear.”
    MAGIC FORWARD HEDO TURKOGLU
    (on the difference between the first and second halves) "We just decided at halftime that even though this was the second game in two nights, we were going to stick together as a team and stay within our system and no matter what happens we’re going to keep fighting back. The second half, felt like we came out a bit looser. I myself was just taking my time to stay in the system and let the game come to me. I was just glad I was able to do it. Definitely, Dwight demands a lot of attention on defense, which opens up things more for the rest of us.”