Friday, March 8th, 2013 at 7:00 PM EST at Amway Center
Game Rewind: IND 115, ORL 86
by Scott Agness | March 8, 2013 | Updated: 11:11 PM
The Pacers had a sour taste in their mouth following a last-second loss to Boston on Wednesday. They went cold in the fourth quarter, allowed the Celtics to do what they wanted offensively, and thus surrendered a double-digit lead.
Friday in Orlando, where the Pacers lost in mid-January, they made sure not to let it happen again. Paul George scored 18 of his game-high 25 points in the third quarter and the bench provided quality contributions all around. With a 115-86 victory, the Pacers (39-23) ended a three-game regular season losing skid to the Magic (17-46) and captured their fourth-straight road win.
From the tip, the Pacers were refreshed, energized and ready to add another ‘W’ to the win column. They took the lead, 8-6, for good on a bucket from Roy Hibbert less than three minutes into the contest.
The Pacers’ bench, which had been outscored a combined 168-84 in the last five games, heard the negativity and answered when they first checked in at the end of the first. It was the bench guys that put the team ahead double digits four minutes into the second quarter and they didn’t stop there. They used a 16-6 run, nine via three outside shots from guard D.J. Augustin, to extend their lead to 18 in the first half. The bench’s contribution allowed Coach Vogel to rest his starters most of the second quarter.
The Pacers shot 52 percent, held the Magic to a 33 percent clip in the first half and headed to the locker room with a 15-point advantage.
There would be no letting off the gas for the Pacers. The starters played the entire third and outscored the Magic by 10 in the quarter, which swelled their lead to 23. Paul George had 18 in the period, including a 62-second stretch where he knocked down three consecutive shots from downtown. With 12 minutes to play, the Pacers led 88-63.
Tyler Hansbrough started the Pacers off right in the final quarter, scoring eight of their first 10 points. Then, Sam Young connected on a triple, to push the Pacers over the century mark for the first time in five games.
Putting the game away early allowed for additional time for the reserves, including those at the bottom of the depth chart. Gerald Green, on the floor for just the second time in seven games, played the final 5:22. He scored on an alley-oop and 3-pointer, plus he grabbed an offensive board and found D.J. Augustin in the corner for an open 3-pointer. Rookie center Miles Plumlee even got in; it was just his ninth appearance of the season.
Tonight’s win, over the second-worst team in the NBA, was one where they had to come out on top and certainly couldn’t overlook. Now they’ll turn their full attention to the Miami Heat, who they’ll face early Sunday evening and for the final time in the regular-season.
Inside the Numbers
Six Pacers scored in double figures, led by Paul George’s game-high 25, his 27th time this season finishing with 20 points or more. Tyler Hansbrough’s 18 points (on 7-of-10 shooting) was just two shy of his season-high. With 14 points, D.J. Augustin finished in double figures for the seventh game this season and his 8 eight assists tied for the most he’s had this season. In addition to his 10 points, Roy Hibbert swatted at least 5 shots for the 12th time this season.
Arron Afflalo had 19 points, Nikola Vucevic and Beno Udrih each chipped in 12.
The Pacers assisted on 33 of 43 baskets, a new season-high.
With their 51.8 shooting percentage, the Pacers improve to 6-1 when making at least half of their shots fired. They are also now 20-5 when holding opponents under 40 percent (39 percent tonight).
Indiana converted 21 Orlando turnovers into 30 points.
The Pacers had their way inside the paint, outscoring the Magic 50 to 26 and grabbing seven more boards.
“We felt like we let a game slip away clearly…this league is about how you respond to situations like that. And we responded in a big time way.” – Frank Vogel on the importance of getting back on track
“Our bench gave us a big time lift in the first half. We were riding them out. We got a lot of production from those guys…I don’t think I ran a play for Paul George all night and he ended up with 25. That’s just the kind of player he’s becoming. Really good win.” – Frank Vogel
“That’s what we need. We’re a tough team when our bench is clicking as well as our starting unit…that’s what we’re going to need throughout the whole season.” – Paul George on the bench
“We got into the flow and hit some shots. We were on point tonight.” – Tyler Hansbrough
“I think we were really in tuned with one other. Tonight was a great performance defensively. Offensively, as well. We probably had a season-high in assists tonight. We really shared the ball. When we play to share the ball, we’re tough to beat.” – Paul George
“I really wanted to get this win because they really beat us pretty bad the last time we played here. We wanted to come back and get a statement win.” – Roy Hibbert
Stat of the Game
Just the opposite of their prior meeting, the Pacers hit 11-of-19 3-point attempts and outscored the Magic by 18 from behind the arc.
- Paul George and Arron Afflalo had to be separated minutes into the game and each received a technical foul. Lance Stephenson, Tyler Hansbrough, and Jameer Nelson were also T’d up in the game.
- The Magic used their 20th different starting lineup of the season.
- Danny Granger and Ben Hansbrough were both inactive; Glen Davis was injured and Hedo Turkoglu missed the game as part of his 20-game suspension.
- The Pacers wore their gold uniforms; the Magic donned their El Magic jersies for Latina Night.
On Sunday, the Pacers visit Miami, victors in 17-straight games, for the only time this season. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 PM EST.
Next Home Game
The Pacers play the Timberwolves on Wednesday, March 13 at 7:00 PM. Good seats are still available and include College Night presented by the Indiana National Guard. Find Tickets »