Sunday, Nov. 19 at 5:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
By Raegan Walsh
Game Recap: Magic 128, Pacers 116
Sunday’s matchup was a game of catchup for the Blue & Gold.
After recording their lowest scoring first quarter and first half of the season to put themselves behind, 78-44, at halftime, the Indiana Pacers fell short of a comeback victory as they were defeated, 128-116, by the Orlando Magic.
Though ultimately the deficit proved too much for the Pacers to overcome, strong efforts from Ben Sheppard, Jarace Walker, Jordan Nwora and Isaiah Jackson in the fourth quarter allowed the Pacers to record their highest scoring fourth quarter of the season and come close to completing a comeback effort.
With four starters for each team on the bench for the entirety of the final frame, Indiana managed to bring the Orlando lead within 11 points with 33.8 seconds remaining in the game — the smallest deficit since the 4:09 mark in the first quarter.
Indiana outscored Orlando, 72-50, in the second half, including recording a season-high 38 fourth quarter points, and held the Magic to 36.1 percent shooting (13-of-36) from the field.
Nwora led all Indiana scorers with a season-high 19 points, all of which were scored in the second half alone. Sheppard and Walker added seven points while Jackson and Mathurin pitched in six points in the fourth quarter.
Bennedict Mathurin added 14 points and a team-high six rebounds, Tyrese Haliburton recorded 12 points, and T.J. McConnell pitched in 11 points and a team-high five assists.
The Magic caught fire to open the game, as seven quick points from Jalen Suggs fueled an early 11-0 scoring run. Indiana put its first points on the board at the 8:31 mark but struggled to cool off Orlando, who would extend their lead to as many as 38 points on one occasion in the second quarter.
Bruce Brown led Indiana through the first half, recording 11 points on a 4-of-5 shooting clip and pulling down five rebounds. McConnell and Myles Turner followed behind with seven points each.
In the first half, Orlando shot 58.8 percent (30-of-51) from the floor in comparison to Indiana’s 34.9 percent (15-of-43). The Magic also dominated in the paint, outscoring Indiana 48-22, and forcing 10 turnovers from the Pacers.
Suggs and Paolo Banchero notched 16 points apiece in the first half to propel Orlando to a 78-44 lead at the conclusion of the first 24 minutes of play.
Indiana found momentum coming out of the locker room for the second half. After logging only two points in the first half, Tyrese Haliburton jumpstarted the Pacers offense by notching eight points within the first minute and a half of third quarter play.
The Pacers went on to outscore Orlando, 34-29, in the third frame as well as outrebound the Magic, 15-12.
For Orlando, the Magic were led by Banchero’s 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor and a team-high seven rebounds. Franz Wagner contributed 19 points and Suggs notched 18 points on a 6-of-8 shooting clip.
Inside the Numbers
Jordan Nwora recorded a season-high 19 points.
The Pacers recorded their lowest scoring first quarter (21 points) and first half (44 points) of the season, but also recorded their highest scoring fourth quarter (38) of the season.
Indiana made eight 3-pointers, while Orlando recorded seven.
Indiana’s bench outscored the Magic reserves, 63-52, after scoring 47 of their points in the second half.
The Pacers recorded 10 steals, seven of which were in the fourth quarter.
After being outscored in the paint, 48-22, in the first half, Indiana outscored Orlando, 42-18, in the second half.
The Pacers dished out 24 steals.
Orlando shot 49.4 percent from the field, while Indiana shot 44.2 percent.
The Magic shot 83.3 percent (35-of-42) from the free throw line. Almost half of Orlando’s third quarter points were scored at the charity stripe as the Magic shot a perfect 15-of-15 from the free throw line within the frame.
The Magic racked up a season-high 128 points.
Indiana Pacers Postgame Media Availability (vs Orlando Magic) | November 19, 2023
You Can Quote Me On That
“We didn’t get enough stops, didn’t get out and play in transition. I thought the juice for us from the jump wasn’t great. Frustrating night.” -Haliburton on the loss
“We just got ourselves out of it. We took the punches and didn’t throw any punches back…We just dug ourselves too deep a hole.” – Smith on the first half struggles
“We didn’t guard them. We gave up 42 points in the first quarter and then we gave up 36 in the second. We’ve got to defend better. The second half we showed we’re capable of playing at a higher competitive level.” -Carlisle on the Pacers’ defensive struggles
“We’ve got to wash that off. We’ve got a chance to be the first team to clinch a group (in the In-Season Tournament) on Tuesday. We’ve got to wash it off.” -Haliburton on the Pacers’ struggles in the first half
“You guys know Jordan’s a hell of a player. He scores the ball well. He does some really good stuff. Shots were going for him. It’s good to see him play well because I know that it’s probably been a difficult year for him not getting the minutes that he wants. But we’re a deep team. We’ve got a lot of guys that need to be ready at any time. Kudos to him.” -Haliburton on Jordan Nwora
“Obviously, the third unit, they came in and played tremendously. We didn’t really have energy, but they came with that effort and that intensity and they broke the lead down for us.” -Smith on the third unit playing well
“I give our fans a lot of credit. It was a frustrating game, but they’re out there chanting ‘Defense’ in the fourth quarter, which is one of the things that makes Indiana special.” -Carlisle on the third unit fighting back in the fourth quarter
Stat of the Night
Despite recording their lowest scoring first quarter and first half of the season, Indiana would go on to record their highest scoring fourth quarter of the season. Jordan Nwora led the charge with 10 fourth-quarter points to help Indiana come close to securing a 40-point comeback victory.
- The Pacers were without Andrew Nembhard, who is ranked ninth in the NBA with 4.0 assists off the bench, due to lower back soreness.
Indiana will travel to Atlanta to take on the Hawks for another In-Season Tournament Game Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 PM ET.
The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 7:30 PM ET. Find Tickets >>