Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 6:00 PM ET at Amway Center
Game Rewind: Pacers 92, Magic 93
Scott Agness | February 9, 2014
The Pacers went into Orlando, seeking their fifth straight win. Though they had won the last four head-to-head meetings and the Magic entered the game with the league’s second-worst record, they couldn’t afford a letdown.
Coming off a win at the buzzer over Oklahoma City, the NBA’s second-best team, on Friday night, the Magic (16-37) topped that victory by upsetting the Pacers (39-11), 93-92 Sunday evening at the Amway Center.
Indiana led by 17 with 3:45 left in the third, but then Orlando went on a 32-8 run, taking their first lead since late in the opening frame. They had opportunities to put the game away but committed nine second-half turnovers and suffered through a dry spell.
Despite all that, the door was left open for the Pacers in the closing seconds. Magic rookie Victor Oladipo exploded for 17 of his team-high 23 points in the second half. After he was fouled with 25 seconds to play, he made his first foul shot but missed the second, and West got tied up. The jump ball landed in George Hill’s hands and he stuffed it at the other end.
Down one with nine seconds on the clock, Lance Stephenson stole Orlando’s inbounds pass and darted a pass to Paul George. He quickly advanced it, and then pulled up for an 18-footer with three defenders on him. It was off the mark and no foul was called, giving the Magic their third straight win.
The tide began to turn as the third quarter winded down. Orlando cut their deficit to 10, 74-64, entering the fourth. Over the next six minutes, the Magic played with more energy and impressively outscored the Pacers 22-5 for a seven-point lead. Later, with 64 seconds to go, David West made 1-of-2 foul shots, and then Paul George connected on a 3-pointer to bring the Pacers to within two.
George, who’s made just 30 percent of his shots over the last seven games, got in rhythm early. He made 5-of-6 first-quarter shots and had 12 of the Pacers’ 31 points. After Indiana took a five-point lead, the Magic scored 11 unanswered for their largest lead, six. The Pacers, however, answered with a 9-0 run to end the first period with a 31-28 advantage.
After recent struggles from long range, the Pacers got in a grove from outside in this one. They made 6-of-10 attempts by the end of the half, including a pair from Stephenson. The Pacers made just two field goals over the final 7:27 of the half, but still led the Magic, 52-43. Stephenson scored 10 points while playing the entire second period and he knocked down the final hoop of the half, a 3-pointer in the right corner.
For the first time in 14 games, the Pacers fall on the first night of a back-to-back set. The good news is they won’t have much time to dwell on this loss with Denver waiting in Indy for a Monday night tilt.
Inside the Numbers
Paul George led all scorers with 27 points, his 33rd game this season with at least 20, on 10-of-19 shooting. Lance Stephenson (16 points, nine rebounds) came up one board short of a double-double, and David West added 14 points.
In 33 minutes, Victor Oladipo scored 23 points, including 6-of-7 free throws in the second half. For the fourth time in five games, center Nikola Vucevic posted a double-double: 19 points, 13 rebounds.
The Pacers were outrebounded for the 16th time this season, 48-41. Six of those games resulted in losses.
Shooting just 58 percent (11-for-19), the Pacers left eight points at the free throw line.
Entering the game, the Pacers were 34-1 when leading after three quarters and the Magic were 3-31 when behind.
The Pacers are 1-2 this season in games decided by three points or less.
“There was a stretch there in the third where we could have put them away. We were a little bit careless with some possessions where we could have put them away, and it was costly.” – Frank Vogel
“We just didn’t end the third right or start the fourth right. We were plus 10 and that should be enough. We are on the road and we didn’t play the game the right way the last 12 minutes of the game.” – David West
“I thought I got hit. I didn’t think I got hit up top but I felt like Big Baby finished through me on the shot. It is what it is. It happens.” – Paul George on his final shot
“You can’t let a young team get out, get easy … transition baskets. With a young team, you got to make them score in the half court and I thought we gave up a couple easy baskets in transition.” – Paul George on the Magic
“I feel like when you’re up, you relax on (defense) and things like that. We relaxed and they got into a rhythm, which we didn’t break it.” – George Hill
Stat of the Game
Orlando’s bench outscored Indiana’s, 37-17 — 24-3 in the second half alone.
- The Magic have won five straight home games.
- Recent signee Andrew Bynum did not travel with the team.