Jan. 5, 2010 at Conseco Fieldhouse
Pacers 97, Magic 90
Player of the Game
The Big Fella racked up a career-high 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting, adding eight rebounds, four blocks and three assists in the most dominant all-around performance of his career.
The Pacers had more free throw attempts (29-24) than their opponent for just the 11th time this season and they are 7-4 in those contests.
Tonight's starting lineup of Dunleavy, D. Jones, Hibbert, Head and Watson is the 13th different starting combination for the Pacers and the fifth in the last six games.
This was the Pacers' second win of the season vs. a team with a record at or above .500, and their first since defeating the Boston Celtics, 11/14.
This was the Pacers' third win of the season in a game in which they fail to score 100+ points.
The Pacers have 13 or fewer turnovers in four of the last five games and averaged 12.8 topg in that span.
Mike Dunleavy's nine rebounds represent his most this season and he has averaged 7.3 rpg in the last three games.
Luther Head has scored at least 18 points in each of the last four games and averaged 21.8 ppg in those four outings.
Points in the paint:
Magic 38, Pacers 28
Magic 17, Pacers 10
Pacers 12, Magic 10
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 20, Magic 14
Pacers 74, Magic 50
Magic 40, Pacers 23
Stat of the Night
Orlando's Dwight Howard, Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis, who combine to average more than 50 points per game, totaled 21 points on 6-of-29 shooting.
After a couple of days off, the Pacers open a weekend road back-to-back Friday in Minnesota against the Timberwolves (8 p.m., 1070 The Fan). Please note, the game will not be televised.
Among the things fans might not have expected to see when they came to Conseco Fieldhouse on Tuesday night: cowboy monkeys riding dogs, Roy Hibbert dominating his matchup with Dwight Howard and the Pacers coming back from a 43-point loss in New York Sunday with one of their most impressive all-around performances of the season in beating the Magic 97-90 before 11,119.
Hibbert racked up a career-high 26 points and reversed roles with Howard, who battled foul trouble throughout the night and wound up fouling out with 11 points. Hibbert, in fact, outscored Orlando's entire All-Star trio as Howard, Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis totaled 21 points (on 6-of-29 shooting).
Their first victory over a team with a winning record since beating Boston 113-104 on Nov. 14 provide a huge boost to the Pacers under the circumstances – coming off an embarrassing loss, playing without half their frontcourt rotation and battling a slump of nine losses in 10 games – and could provide needed impetus. They improved to 11-23 overall, 8-9 at home. Orlando (24-10) continued to struggle on the road, where it has lost five out of six.
“It’s a great victory for the Indiana Pacers. I’m proud of our young men for a great bounce-back victory." -- Jim O'Brien.
"He just played a really terrific basketball game at both ends. 26 points and eight rebounds is a great effort from Roy. It helped to get Howard (Dwight) in foul trouble." -- O'Brien on Roy Hibbert.
"It’s the NBA where amazing happens. First thing I said in New York to the team, it’s one game. Don’t overreact.” -- O'Brien on the turnaround from Sunday's 43-point loss.
“The game prior to this was really, really horrible and bad. So we had to come out, set the tone and get a W. Sometimes it’s amazing what the crowd can do for you and they got us in the game tonight. We need to learn from losses but not like the last couple." -- Hibbert
"I have pushed myself and my teammates have helped me a lot. So I feel I am improving and getting better with every game. I’m still a work in progress as we all are. By being double teamed in the middle, it opens up some of the other players and I think I am a pretty good passer and can get the ball out to the open person. We all played well, helped each other out and I am trying to stay focused by not fouling and playing steady in the paint.” -- Hibbert
“We made some shots tonight and Roy as well as everybody else really played hard and played well. He got up on Dwight, caused him to foul and it kind of set the tone for the game. We made shots tonight that we missed the other night. Some of them were tough shots. We got the win because we worked hard and helped each other out. When Danny (Granger) gets back, we will be able to go on a roll." -- Brandon Rush.
"They have the type of team that won’t give up and will always battle back. Tonight we did not let them in. They fought back but we turned them away." -- Rush.
“We’re just playing terrible. Offensively it’s really bad right now. I need to look at everything. We had 20 turnovers and 38 percent shooting, so offensively it’s not working at all." -- Orlando Coach Stan Van Gundy.
"He was fantastic. It helped that him a lot that Dwight got into foul trouble and was not able to guard his as aggressively. We double teamed him some but he hit a couple of shots at the end of the shot clock. He works as hard for low post position as anyone in the league.” -- Van Gundy on Hibbert.
"He was just on fire tonight. He had an unbelievable game and I’m proud to see him mature into the player he is. I’m very happy for him.” -- Dwight Howard on Hibbert.
Hibbert got the Pacers off to a solid start with 12 first-quarter points as Howard and Carter both picked up two fouls in the opening minutes. Hibbert scored twice in an eight-point run that put the Pacers up 39-29 in the second quarter but Orlando cut it to 45-39 at the half and seemed poise for a third-quarter run.
Carter scored twice in a row early in the second half but those would be his last buckets of the game as the Magic leaned heavily on Mickael Pietrus and Jameer Nelson to rally to a 60-all tie late in the period. Pacers did not relinquish the lead despite numerous challenges, the last coming when J.J. Redick's 3-pointer cut it to 76-74 with 8:02 remaining.
The Pacers responded impressively at both ends in a 14-4 run that built a 90-78 lead with 3:44 remaining, punctuated by a pair of huge baskets by Hibbert – a pullup jumper from the top of the key and a turnaround fadeaway baseline jumper over Howard as the shot-clock expired.
Orlando produced just one basket in a span of nearly 10 minutes but tried to rally late, closing to 93-87 on Nelson's drive with 37 seconds left but the Pacers closed the door at the free-throw line.
BY THE NUMBERS
Hibbert scored at least 20 points for the third time in four games to lead the Pacers, who got plenty of strong complementary contributions. Luther Head scored 18, Dahntay Jones started at power forward against Lewis and scored 13. Brandon Rush played a key role shutting down Carter and scored 12 off the bench, and Mike Dunleavy scored 11 with nine rebounds. The Pacers shot .429, were just 5-of-16 from the free-throw line and were outrebounded 52-44 but committed just 13 turnovers and held Orlando to .384 shooting.
Nelson and Pietrus scored 16 each to lead the Magic. Matt Barnes and Redick had 13 apiece. Howard had 11 points on 2-of-16 shooting, 7-of-12 from the line, and committed five turnovers but pulled 15 rebounds. Carter was 2-of-15 from the field for six points and Lewis 2-of-8 for four points. Orlando committed 20 turnovers that led to 20 of Indiana's points.