Knowing Orlando's level of desperation, the Pacers fully expected to get the Magic's best shot in Game 4.
That's precisely what they got.
First, Orlando wiped out Indiana's 19-point fourth-quarter lead with a 26-7 run to force overtime.
Then, after the Pacers surged to a 95-89 lead with 2:53 left in overtime, Orlando came back to tie it again but George Hill scored the Pacers' final six points, including a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining, to deliver a 101-99 victory Saturday.
Hill was fouled on a drive to the bucket when Jason Richardson, trying to give defensive help, reached in and grabbed his arm. After his free throws, the Magic got a good look but Glen Davis' turnaround jumper over Paul George was short at the buzzer and the Pacers escaped.
With their seventh consecutive road win, the Pacers take a 3-1 series lead back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for Game 5 Tuesday at 7 p.m., with the chance to close out their first playoff series victory since 2005.
By the Numbers
David West had a huge game for the Pacers with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Danny Granger scored 21 with seven boards, Roy Hibbert 14 with 11 rebounds and three blocked shots, Hill scored 12 with five assists and two steals and and Darren Collison 11 with nine assists off the bench. The Pacers shot 46 percent but were just 6 of 21 (.286) from the 3-point line. They outrebounded Orlando 49-42.
Jason Richardson led Orlando with 25 points, while Glen "Big Baby" Davis had 24 points and 11 rebounds. Jameer Nelson had 12 points and 11 assists, Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson 11 apiece and J.J. Redick 10 off the bench. Orlando shot 40 percent but was 9 of 29 (.310) from the arc.
"We ran most of our offense, particularly in the second half, through David West and he's just a beast in the post. He kept pounding them. He was a scorer or they double-teamed he kicked it and we got some open threes out of it. He's quite a weapon." – Pacers Coach Frank Vogel
"It's tough to get a road win anywhere against anyone in the playoffs. To come here in a tough environment and get two just shows our guys' resiliency." – Vogel
"It's hard to win games, period, so we'll take the win. I thought it was good from the perspective that we made a lot of mistakes defensively and I thought we loosened up a little bit too much, gave them some looks. Obviously Big Baby had a great impact on the game but we made those mistakes but still were able to respond and come out with the win. We still have a lot to improve on and so it was good in that regard." – West
"Just me and the basket. I was telling myself the whole time I've been in that position before earlier in the season where I could of gave up those two. That came back in my head, just focus on the basket and block out all the fans and focus like it was me in the gym all by myself." – Hill on what he was thinking on the final free throws
"Big sigh of relief. I don't how much were up in the fourth, but they did a great job of coming back and forcing overtime. My hat's off to them. That was a tough win. They had a lot of momentum going. We were lucky to get out of here with a win." – Granger
"We feel really confident, but we don't want to be overconfident. They already beat us once in Indianapolis. I think we just have to come out and play with the same focus as the last three games and everything else will take care of itself." – Granger
"This is the playoffs. Regardless what my role is for this team, I'm locked-in, I'm focused and I want to win real bad for this organization and these fans. I'm going to lay my heart on the line. If I have to pressure 100 feet, whatever it takes, scratch, crawl, bleed, whatever it takes to get a win." – Collison
Stat of the Game
The Pacers outscored the Magic 27-17 in the third quarter in Game 4, bringing their advantage to 108-60 in that period for the series.
When Hibbert went to the bench with his fourth foul midway through the third quarter, West simply took over, scoring 12 points in an 18-7 run that pushed Indiana's lead to 73-61 heading into the fourth quarter. The Pacers then opened the fourth quarter with a 9-2 burst, pushing the run to 27-9 and the lead to 82-63 with 8:16 remaining.
Just when it looked like it was over, Orlando turned it around.
Orlando then put together its biggest run of the series. With Hibbert on the bench, the Magic attacked the rim, scoring all nine of their buckets on layups in an 18-2 burst that cut it to 84-81. George Hill calmly answered with a jumper and a 3-pointer and Hibbert fed Granger for a layup to make it 89-81 with 2:37 left, but again the Magic came back, with 3-pointers from Richardson and Redick fueling an 8-0 run that tied it at 89 with 38.7 seconds remaining.
After the Pacers came up empty, Jameer Nelson had a chance to win it in regulation but missed a turnaround jumper in the lane at the buzzer.
West scored twice and Granger hit a jumper as the Pacers took a 95-89 lead, but Richardson hit another 3-pointer and Nelson converted a three-point play to tie it with 1:35 remaining as Hibbert fouled out.
Hill then stepped forward, drawing a foul rebounding his own miss and making both, hitting a baseline floater on a nice feed from West and then making the deciding free throws.
Granger limped to the locker room late in the third quarter with a twisted right knee after falling on a drive to the basket, but returned with 9:07 left in the game. … Redick earned the first technical foul of the series, pushing Tyler Hansbrough after the two collided on a drive in the fourth quarter. … The script flipped from the first three games, the starters got out slowly but the bench came in and asserted itself, keying a 24-7 run that turned a 16-10 first-quarter deficit into a 34-23 second-quarter lead. Orlando missed all nine of its shots and committed seven turnovers during the run, which covered nearly 10 minutes. … Orlando countered with a 15-4 run to tie it at 42-all. … The Magic shot more free throws in the first half (21) than in any of the first three games, offsetting 33 percent shooting to keep the deficit at 46-44 at the break. … Anderson was presented his NBA Most Improved Player award in a brief on-court ceremony before the game. Indiana's Paul George finished 13th in the media balloting, while Roy Hibbert was 17th. … Bubba Watson, the 2012 Masters winner, was in attendance.
The teams return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for Game 5 Tuesday at 7 p.m. The game will be telecast by Fox Sports Indiana and NBATV, and carries by the flagship of the Pacers' radio network, WIBC FM.