The Orlando Magic finished their 2013/14 season Wednesday night with their fourth straight defeat, 101-86, against the top-seeded Indiana Pacers. The Pacers, as expected, rested Paul George, Lance Stephenson, and David West for the game, and did not play George Hill or Roy Hibbert after halftime, preferring instead to give their five starters a rest in advance of the postseason.
For Orlando, neither Nikola Vucevic or Jameer Nelson suited up owing to a sore left Achilles' and a sore groin, respectively. Further, it pulled Arron Afflalo, its leading scorer on the season, after six minutes against Indiana.
All of which preamble is meant to establish that Wednesday's contest, though well-attended--the club announced a sellout crowd of 18,846--had the intensity and stakes of a preseason game.
As a result of Wednesday's loss, the Magic have secured sole ownership of the league's third-worst record. They'll have a 15.6 percent chance of winning the top overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and cannot pick lower than sixth.
Rasual Butler scored a game-high-tying 19, the most he's scored since March 28th, 2010, as did Chris Copeland. The second-year forward sank five of the Pacers' 11 three-pointers. Evan Turner tallied 14 points, eight rebounds, and six assists for Indiana.
Maurice Harkless and E`Twaun Moore ranked among two of four Magic players to reach double-figure scoring, with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Dewayne Dedmon scored eight points with career-best 12 rebounds.
The Magic trailed by six points at halftime, but the game could have been much closer than it was: Indiana capped each of the first two periods with buzzer-beating baskets, the first a Solomon Hill three-pointer and the second a Butler dunk that he cherrypicked off a made Moore foul shot.
Indiana coasted in the third quarter, building its lead to as large as 18 points as the Magic struggled to find openings against its stout defense. Orlando never challenged for the lead, with Indiana winning all four quarters in the rout.