Tuesday, May 8 at Indiana
Game 5 Rewind: Pacers 105, Magic 87
By Conrad Brunner
Big men dominated the series for Indiana, but one of the smallest Pacers closed it out.
Darren Collison came off the bench to score 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to spark a rally that carried the Pacers to a 105-87 victory over Orlando and their first playoff series victory in seven years.
Orlando led 73-71 early in the fourth quarter when Collison went to work, scoring four straight buckets and assisting on Danny Granger's 3-pointer as the Pacers took the lead for good. Collison missed his first shot of the game but made his final nine in a row.
The Pacers outscored Orlando 36-16 in the fourth quarter, making 15 of 20 shots, to earn their first postseason series victory since beating Boston in the first round in 2005, and closed out their first series at home since beating Milwaukee in the first round in 2000.
Indiana advances to the Eastern Conference semifinals to face the winner of the Miami-New York series. The Heat leads 3-1 heading into Game 5 Wednesday in Miami.
By The Numbers
Granger led the Pacers with 25 points, including four 3-pointers. Collison had 19 points and six assists with just one turnover. George Hill had 15 points and six rebounds. David West had 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks and Roy Hibbert had 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. The Pacers shot 52.4 percent, outrebounded Orlando 43-34, and outscored the Magic 46-22 in the paint and 22-12 on second-chances.
Jameer Nelson led the Magic with 27 points, 15 in the third quarter, and five assists. He was 1 of 5 in the fourth quarter, scoring just two points. Glen Davis had 15 points and eight rebounds, Ryan Anderson 14 points and J.J. Redick 12. Orlando shot 42.1 percent and was 11 of 30 (.367) from the 3-point line.
"A huge step for our franchise. We took a big step last year getting back into the playoffs and ever since that minute we came back with the mindset that we wanted to advance further than we did last year so we're very happy to get this W and advance. We're not happy with just getting that, though. We feel like this is just the beginning of a big run." – Pacers Coach Frank Vogel
"He has a great deal of pride in his abilities and he's led our team all year in just determination and purity and the will to win and the desire to win. His effort is always just great. I'm just so happy for the kid. He's one of the best kids I've ever coached and he was just terrific tonight." – Vogel on Collison
"I think we have to give the credit to David West. We saw that they weren't leaving him so it gave us the opportunity to go to the basket and make some plays." – Collison on his fourth quarter
"Our relationship amongst each other has been growing every single day and I think it really started from day one of training camp. We saw how good we could become down the stretch, throughout the season, we knew we were going to make a deep run in the playoffs. I can't be any more proud of our teammates, our chemistry. That's why we're winning games, because of our chemistry on and off the court." – Collison
"It was awesome to see your teammates standing up and cheering for you, everybody high-fiving, I see my dad and my cousin high-fiving in the crowd, it was an amazing feeling, really." – Granger
"This is what this team is all about. I’m really proud to be on this team. As they told me a few years back when I first came here, this day would come. I don’t mean this is over, we’ve got a lot more basketball to play." – Granger
"The floor shook from the crowd tonight. We knew we were in Indiana Pacers basketball." – Granger
"We’re going to keep going. We know what it takes. We know we can play with any team in this league. We are a team, we are fighters and we will be winners. I’m really proud to be a part of this team." – West
"They were a good team and I congratulate them. I’ve been through this same thing. They haven’t won a series in seven years. This was great step for them. The next round is going to be very tough. They were huge favorites in this series. They will be underdogs in the next. I have no clue how far they will go and I won’t be watching." – Orlando Coach Stan Van Gundy
Stat of the Game
The Pacers outscored the Magic 18-0 on fast-break points in Game 5, running their total advantage to 69-13 for the series.
Trailing 71-69 heading into the fourth quarter, the Pacers needed a spark and got it from Darren Collison, who scored four buckets and assisted on Granger's 3-pointer as the Pacers put together an impressive 20-7 run to take an 91-80 lead with 5:06 remaining. As he did in Game 4, when Orlando wiped out a 19-point fourth quarter deficit, Van Gundy went to a small lineup but the Pacers were ready and there would be no comeback this time. When Orlando closed to 91-83 on a Ryan Anderson 3-pointer with 4:47 left, the Pacers answered with a 14-2 run that included a steal and dunk from Collison to blow it open.
George made his first 3-pointer of the series, snapping a streak of 13 misses in the postseason and 20 in a row overall, on his first attempt of the game. … For the fourth time in five games, the Pacers opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter, using a 19-4 run to build a 26-11 advantage as Orlando missed 10 of 11 shots. … After dominating the third quarter 108-60 in the first four games, the Pacers were outscored 24-19 as Orlando, with Nelson scoring 15, took a 71-69 lead into the fourth quarter. … Granger scored at least 17th point for the 10th consecutive playoff game. … Indiana's point total rose in each of the five games, from 77 to 93 to 97 to 101 to 105. … Hornets guard Eric Gordon, an Indianapolis native and former Indiana University standout, was in attendance to check out his hometown team, as were former Pacers Rik Smits and Derrick McKey. … Other celebrities on hand included Indiana University Coach Tom Crean, former Purdue standout Robbie Hummel, and Colts players Robert Mathis and Antoine Bethea and former Indy linebacker Gary Brackett. Also in attendance were super-agent David Falk and former Thunder and Celtics forward Jeff Green.
The Pacers await the winner of the Miami-New York series in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Heat holds a 3-1 series lead and can close it out in Game 5 Wednesday night in Miami.