George Hill's two free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining in overtime gave the Indiana Pacers a hard-fought 101-99 win, despite a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback by the Orlando Magic to force the overtime. With the win, the Pacers have the Magic on the brink of elimination as they now lead the series 3-1.
David West led the way for Indiana, scoring 26 points with 12 rebounds. Danny Granger added 21 points, 7 rebounds. Center Roy Hibbert added a double-double of 14 points, 11 rebounds. Point guard Darren Collison was big off the bench, with 11 points and led the Pacers with 9 assists. Six players scored in double figures for Orlando, led by Jason Richardson, who scored 25 points on 9 of 18 shooting along with 5 rebounds. Glen Davis added a double-double of 24 points on 10 of 18 shooting and 11 rebounds. Jameer Nelson also added a double-double of 12 points, 11 assists, but shot just 4 of 15, and missed the potential game-winning shot at the end of regulation.
Things looked pretty bad for the Magic, as they trailed 82-63 with 8:14 remaining in regulation and appeared to be all but out of it following a Granger layup. Up until that point, it had been the same old story for the Magic, with poor pick-and-roll offense, poor shooting, poor rebounding, and another bad second half. The Pacers outscored the Magic 36-19 in the first 16 minutes of the second half to supposedly break the game open. Then, the game took a sudden and dramatic turn for the Magic.
|Team||Pace||Efficiency||eFG%||FT Rate||OReb%||TO Rate|
|Green denotes a stat better than the team's regular-season average;
red denotes a stat worse than the team's regular-season average.
The Pacers scored the first six points of the OT to lead 95-89 following a Granger 20-footer with 2:51 remaining. The Magic, despite exhausting themselves with their huge fourth-quarter comeback, did not give up and came back to tie the game at 95 apiece following a Richardson three and Nelson layup and free throw. With the score tied at 99 and the Pacers with the ball, Nelson fouled Hill as he attempted to drive the lane with 2.2 seconds remaining. Hill drained the free throws, and after two timeouts, the Magic threw the ball into Davis, but his 13-footer hit the rim and bounced harmlessly away at the buzzer.
For the first time in the series, the Magic got off to a decent start, leading the Pacers 16-10 with 4:16 remaining in the opening quarter, but the Pacers ended the quarter strong and took the lead 22-19, as Magic reserve point guard Chris Duhon committed two silly turnovers in the final two minutes of the quarter. The Pacers extended their lead to 34-23 after two Collison free throws with 7:47 remaining in the second, but the Magic went on a 19-8 run to tie the game at 42-42 after a Richardson jumper with under two minutes left in the half. Indiana led 46-44 at the half, as they outshot the Magic 48% to 33%. Free throws kept the Magic in the game, as they made 14 of 16 in the second quarter and 17 of 21 for the half to make up for their poor field goal shooting.
Indiana started to take control of the game in the third quarter, as they outscored Orlando 27-17 to lead going into the fourth 73-61. West and Granger were too much for the Magic to handle, as the duo combined to score 20 of the Pacers' 27 points.
After an Indiana 9-1 run to open the fourth quarter, little did anyone know what a huge comeback the Magic would have in them, but unfortunately, they would fall just short in the overtime.
Once again, Indiana had the shooting edge, outshooting the Magic 46.4% to 40%, and outrebounding them 49-42, including 13-11 offensively. Unlike the previous two games, the Magic did a much better job limiting the Pacers' fast break, as they would score just 6 fast-break points for the game, and forced Indiana to commit 17 turnovers, while committing 13 of their own, also an improvement from the last two games. Points in the paint were even also at 42 apiece.
Other game notes:
-Even though Ryan Anderson made 3 of 6 three-pointers, he did not make a two-point field goal and shot just 3 of 9 overall and had 4 rebounds, including 3 offensively in 34 minutes of play.
-Hedo Turkoglu had his best game of the series, scoring 11 points on 4 rebounds, with 2 assists, 2 steals, a block and just one turnover in 40 minutes of play. He was also a factor defensively, coming up with a big block of a David West shot late in regulation.
-J.J. Redick shot just 2 of 9, but made all 5 free throws and scored 10 points with 7 assists off the bench.
-Collectively, the Magic reserves shot just 3 of 15 for 16 points, while the Pacers' reserves combined to shoot 10 of 17 for 26 points.
-The Pacers' starting guards of Paul George and George Hill combined to score 14 points on just 4 of 17 shooting, but Hill made the game-clinching free throws, scored 5 of the last 7 Pacers' points in regulation, and wound up with 12 points.
With their heart being questioned following a horrible effort in Game 3, no one could question the Magic's heart and desire for this game after one of the most incredible fourth-quarter comebacks in Magic playoff history. The Pacers' front line, overall depth, and talent were just too much for the Magic to overcome, though.
The Magic will try to stave off elimination in Game 5 at Indianapolis Tuesday night.