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2012 NBA Playoffs, Pacers vs. Magic Game Two: Indiana Crushes Orlando in Third Quarter to Even Series

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The Orlando Magic, having stolen the home-court advantage from the Indiana Pacers, were looking to build on the momentum of their stunning Game 1 victory. Things looked promising for the Magic with 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, as the Magic held a 50-45 lead. The Pacers then proceeded to go on a game-changing 25-5 run over the next 7:30 to take control of the game, and the Magic never threatened the remainder of the game in the 93-78 Pacers' victory to even the series at one apiece.

Three Pacers scored 18 points each in Danny Granger, David West, and George Hill, and Paul George added 17 points. West added 11 rebounds. Glen Davis led the Magic with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but shot just 5 of 16 and appeared fatigued in the second half. Jameer Nelson scored 12 points, but 10 of those points came in the final quarter with the game in hand for the Pacers.

There were several reasons why the Pacers were able to win this game to even the series. Indiana really hurt the Magic in second-chance points and fast-break points, especially in the second half. The Pacers had 8 offensive rebounds in their big third quarter to just one offensive rebound for the Magic. Indy also took advantage of 16 Magic turnovers in the game and scored 17 points off those turnovers. Indiana was brilliant at the free throw line, making 25 of 28 (89.3%). The starting backcourt for the Pacers, George Hill and Paul George, made up for a horrible Game 1 by combining for 35 points on 13 of 20 shooting. Even though the Pacers starting frontcourt of Granger, West, and Roy Hibbert shot just 14 of 40 combined from the floor, they were too much for the Magic to handle on the boards, as they outrebounded the Magic starting frontcourt 31-19 and blocked 5 shots.

Team Pace Efficiency eFG% FT Rate OReb% TO Rate
Magic 83.8 93.0 40.8% 21.1 29.5 19.1
Pacers 83.8 110.9 44.2% 32.5 37.5 15.5
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 Magic continue to struggle on their shooting, as they shot just 35.5% in Game 2, including just 8 of 25 on three-pointers. They were outscored 51-34 in the second half, including 30-13 in the third quarter by the Pacers, and were dominated on the boards in that second half 26-13. The Magic starting backcourt of Jameer Nelson and Jason Richardson combined to score just 14 points for the game on 5 of 18 shooting, including 0 for 5 on threes. Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson continue to struggle with their shooting, as they combined to shoot 7 for 20 for 21 points, though they were respectable from long range, shooting 5 of 12 on threes.

The Pacers started the game off well, as in Game 1, jumping out to a quick 18-7 lead with 6:01 remaining in the opening frame after a Hill bucket. That did not phase the Magic, as they ended the first quarter on a 14-6 run to trail 24-21 after one. Turkoglu and Anderson combined for 13 points in the quarter, almost as many points as their 14 combined points in all of Game 1.

The Magic continued to battle in the second quarter, even though their poor shooting continued, and led 44-42 at the half. Despite shooting just 15 of 47 (32%) in the first half, the Magic outrebounded the Pacers 25-20, including 12-4 on the offensive boards, and took relatively good care of the ball with just 6 turnovers.

After the Pacers took control of the game following their dominant third quarter, the closest the Magic came in the final quarter would be 83-72 after a Nelson layup with 4:20 remaining. If you watched the Los Angeles Clippers/Memphis Grizzlies game Sunday night, you knew the Magic still had a chance, but the Pacers went on a 8-2 run to lead 91-74 with 1:34 remaining to put to rest any hopes of a Magic comeback on their way to the 93-78 victory.

Despite the convincing Pacers' win in Game 2, Orlando accomplished their mission of winning one game in Indy to steal home court advantage away from them. The Magic, though, definitely need to improve their shooting and rebounding, in addition to taking better care of the ball, along with better defense in the paint if they hope to pull off the upset in this series.

Other game notes:

-The Pacers shot just 2 of 20 on three-pointers, but outscored the Magic 62-38 on two-point field goals.

-The Magic reserves outscored the Pacers' reserves 25-18, led by J.J. Redick's 13 points. Redick shot just 1 of 5 on threes. Guard Leandro Barbosa led the Pacers' reserves with 10 points.

-The Magic were outscored from the free-throw line 25-16; Magic Radio Network announcers Dennis Neumann and Richie Adubato were of the opinion that the referees let several Pacers' potential fouls go uncalled.