Sunday, March 11 at Orlando
Game Rewind: Magic 107, Pacers 94
Orlando is a pick-your-poison opponent: you can focus on trying to contain Dwight Howard inside, but at the risk of getting burned by 3-point shooters outside.
The Pacers couldn't contend with either.
Howard scored 30 points and Orlando scored 30 from the 3-point line in rolling to a 107-94 victory Sunday at Amway Center.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Pacers (23-16), eighth in a row against opponents with winning records. Orlando not only improved to 27-15, it won the season series and secured the playoff tie-breaker.
BY THE NUMBERS
Paul George led the Pacers with 22 points on 10 of 17 shooting, adding eight rebounds and three steals. Tyler Hansbrough scored 19 off the bench, 13 in the fourth quarter. Danny Granger scored 18 with five rebounds but four turnovers. He shot 7 of 15 overall but missed all five of his 3-point attempts. Roy Hibbert scored 10. The Pacers shot 48 percent overall but were 1 of 12 from the 3-point line and had just 15 assists.
Howard added 13 rebounds, five assists and four steals to his 30 points, making 11 of 14 from the field and 8 of 12 from the free-throw line. J.J. Redick scored 18 with nine assists, Ryan Anderson 12 with seven rebounds and Quentin Richardson 10. Orlando shot 47 percent overall and was 10 of 27 (37 percent) from the arc.
"When you get down as big as we did in the first half, you’ve got to be almost perfect to get back in the game, and close the gap and pull ahead. We had a couple of breakdowns and they made us pay." - Pacers Coach Frank Vogel
"Yeah, it’s the ultimate pick-your-poison situation. Guard (Howard) or guard the 3-point line, and we didn’t do either one tonight. They’re very tough to guard when they’re shooting the ball like that." - Vogel
"Fatigue kicked in coming off a loss where we felt we should have won. There was a lot of emotion in that game. We came out a little stagnant." - George
"We came out strong in the third, but they responded every time we had a run going with a run of their own. You can’t beat them when you are not locked in defensively." - George
"We played our hearts out last night and came in here and tonight we just had a lag. We have to get focused and get back on the right track." - Hansbrough
"We haven’t been able to finish games and we are giving up too many points coming out of the drum. We gave up 36 and 35 point quarters tonight and you are not going to be able to win like that. We just have to pull it together." - Granger
STAT OF THE GAME
The Pacers were 1-of-12 from the arc and were outscored 30-3 from the 3-point line by the Magic. When they hit less than 33.3 percent of their 3-pointers, they're 4-10.
Playing very much like a team coming off an emotionally and physically draining loss the night before, the Pacers gave up a season-high 36 points and trailed by 14 in the first quarter. Orlando put together a 28-10 run fueled by five 3-pointers, three by reserve guard Chris Duhon, to open a 50-26 lead early in the second.
The Pacers found some energy late in the half, however, scoring the final 12 of the second period, six from Collison, to cut the deficit to a more manageable 56-45 at the break. Defense fueled Indiana's rally as Orlando committed eight turnovers in the second period alone.
When Granger opened the second half with a jumper, the lead was down to nine but that's where the run stopped. Anderson's 3-pointer triggered a 22-11 burst that pushed Orlando's lead back to 20 points, 78-58. Howard dominated throughout the period, scoring 15, including seven in an 11-2 run that extended the advantage to 91-64, and the rout was back on.
Tempers flared with 9:42 left in the game when Hansbrough stepped in after Howard threw George to the floor battling for rebounding position. Both Hansbrough and Howard were assessed technical fouls. … George Hill missed his second game in a row with a sprained left shoulder. In all, Hill has missed 15 games this season and the Pacers have gone 6-9. … Jeff Foster missed his fifth in a row and 27th of the season with a sore back. … Orlando was without two starters. Hedo Turkoglu was serving a one-game NBA suspension for grabbing an official in Chicago Thursday night, while Jason Richardson was out with a sprained ankle. They were replaced in the lineup by Richardson and Redick, respectively.
The Pacers open a stretch of four games in five nights Tuesday against Portland in Bankers Life Fieldhouse (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). It's the only meeting of the season with the Trail Blazers, who are led by standout forward LaMarcus Aldridge (21.8 points, 8.2 rebounds) but have five other players averaging double figures in scoring.