Player of the Game
Scored 18 points in 29 minutes off the bench, making 7-of-11 shots, adding five rebounds and two steals.
Pacers 40, Magic 36
Magic 17, Pacers 2
Pacers 16, Magic 12
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 20, Magic 20
Magic 75, Pacers 54
Pacers 44, Magic 43
Stat of the Night
END RESULTOn the occasion of the final home game of their fourth consecutive non-playoff season, the Pacers were given a stark reminder of the gap between where they are and where they aspire to be.
Orlando, a team that starts four All-Stars and two likely future Hall of Famers (Dwight Howard and Vince Carter) still playing with a high level of motivation down to the wire, simply hammered the Pacers from the opening tip. Bolting to a 24-point first-quarter lead, the Magic coasted to a 118-98 victory to spoil a sellout crowd of 18,165 on Fan Appreciation Night on Monday in Conseco Fieldhouse.
IMPACTThe Pacers had their four-game win streak snapped and fell to 32-49 overall, finishing their home schedule at 23-18 with 11 wins in their final 13 games at Conseco Fieldhouse. Orlando won its fifth in a row to improve to 58-23 overall, 25-16 on the road and moved 1½ games ahead of the Lakers (56-24) in the race for the second-best record in the NBA and potential homecourt advantage for the NBA Finals. Orlando is 32-8 in the second half of the season.
- “Orlando is a superior basketball team in every sense of the word. They’ll be a tough out for anybody in the playoffs. They will possibly be there at the end again this year." – Jim O'Brien
- "We had a very poor performance against a very good basketball team.” – O'Brien
- "Obviously this isn’t the way we wanted to have this game end tonight. … This is not a good feeling, but we just have to take the good with the bad. This is the NBA.” – A.J. Price
- “No excuses. We just didn’t have it tonight from start to finish. … They played well from start to finish and are probably one of the better teams in the NBA." – Troy Murphy
- "We wanted to get off to a really good start in the game, particularly on the offensive part of the game. I thought the first six minutes of the third quarter was the best defensive effort of the season. I liked our defensive effort." – Orlando Coach Stan Van Gundy
- "We wanted to come out and start being aggressive and put the hammer down early. I think we did that." – Orlando's Dwight Howard
- "We know that they are a tough team here at home and that they have been playing very well here of late. We struggled early in the season when we came here and they beat us. They are a very talented, scoring team that can shoot the ball and present a lot of match up problems. So we were very conscious of coming out strong in the first quarter." – Orlando's Matt Barnes
KEY MOMENTSThe Pacers were only in this one for a few minutes. Orlando blew it open with a 17-2 run that opened a 28-11 lead in the first quarter and went on to produce a 42-18 lead after one. It marked a season-high for a Pacers opponent in any quarter. With Mike Dunleavy scoring 14 of his 18 points in the second quarter, the Pacers chipped away, producing a 16-2 run while holding the Magic without a field goal for nearly five minutes that cut the lead to 58-48.
But Jameer Nelson hit two buckets in the final 32 seconds of the half to put the Magic up 65-51 at the break and starting an 18-4 run that would put Orlando ahead 78-55 midway through the third period, and that was basically that. The Pacers trailed by at least 17 the rest of the night.
BY THE NUMBERSPrice led the Pacers in scoring for the first time this season with 19 points in 25 minutes off the bench, hitting 7-of-11 overall and 5-of-9 from the 3-point line, adding four assists. Dunleavy had 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Beyond those two reserves, the team combined to shoot 22-of-66 (.333). Danny Granger had a brutal shooting night, hitting 6-of-19 overall and 1-of-8 from the arc, scoring 18 points. After a long run of double-doubles, Troy Murphy had a rare double-single with eight points and four rebounds. Roy Hibbert made a pair of 3-pointers in scoring 12 points, Earl Watson had 12 and Brandon Rush a career-high 12 rebounds. The Pacers shot .409 overall and 10-of-29 from the 3-point line. They were outrebounded 53-38.
Carter scored 11 of his 21 at the free-throw line for the Magic, who outscored the Pacers 32-16 from the line. Nelson had 15 with eight assists and seven rebounds, Rashard Lewis had 14 with six rebounds, Matt Barnes 13 with 11 rebounds and Dwight Howard 12 with 11 boards. J.J. Redick (11) and Ryan Anderson (10) reached double figures off the bench. Orlando shot .481 overall, 12-of-32 from the arc.