Coming off yet another ugly loss on Friday night against the New York Knicks, the Orlando Magic returned home to host the Indiana Pacers. Hot shooting late helped the Pacers take home a 106-99 victory, pushing the Magic losing streak to five.
Much like their loss to the Knicks, the Magic got off to a good start, jumping out to a 16-9 lead early in the quarter. Indiana was able to answer, however, going on a 10-0 run of their own to grab a small lead of their own. The two sides went back and forth for much of the remainder of the period, trading makes and misses on almost every trip down the floor. Orlando looked more engaged on both ends, moving the ball at a high, successful rate, while getting into guys more on the defensive end. Once again, the Magic went to big man Nikola Vucevic early and often, as he finished with a game high 10 in the opening 12 minutes. Fellow big man David West led the way for the Pacers, finishing with eight in the quarter.
The second quarter appeared to be a replay of their game against the Knicks. The Magic were able to work and grown their lead some, but were quickly answered by the Pacers. Indiana dominated the second half of the quarter, coming back and grabbing a lead that reached as many as six. All the good things the Magic had done in the opening quarter seemingly fell off of a cliff. Indiana held a huge rebounding advantage, out-rebounding the Magic 25-14, including 5-0 on the offensive boards. The Pacers also shot a hot 54.8 percent, led by West's 5-of-9 performance for 12 opening half points. Vucevic continued to lead the way for Orlando, pushing his total up to 15 before the halftime buzzer.
Out of the halftime break, Orlando's energy level picked back up, with the team allowing their defense to dictate how they played on the offensive end. With Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton getting after it, Orlando was able to force the Pacers into some turnovers, leading to fast break attempts for the Magic. With their defense getting it done, their offense continued to click, with them moving the ball at a high rate, pushing their assist total to 20 on 32 made field goals. Oladipo scored 11 in the quarter, with Vucevic pushing his total up to 23 on the night to lead the Magic. West continued to lead the way for the Pacers, pushing his total for the game up to 20.
Into the fourth quarter, the Magic's bench gave them a good stretch of minutes to hold a seven point lead, and even push it up to a game high of nine. However, the Pacers were able to chip away at the Magic lead, tying the game up with just under six minutes to go. Indiana pushed the lead two four, but the Magic wouldn't let them pull away, tying it right after the fact. After a Magic turnover, George Hill threw down a monster one handed dunk to give the Pacers a four point lead with just 1:45 to play. After a miss and an offensive rebound, Damjan Rudez hit a three that would ultimately seal the deal for the Pacers.
Indiana brought forth an extremely balanced effort all night, with six players finishing in double figures. West led the way with 20, with rookie Damjan Rudez, who scored 16 of his 18 in the fourth quarter, following closely. Hill finished with 17 off the bench, with fellow guard guard Rodney Stuckey also finishing with 15. Roy Hibbert finished with a 11-point, 13-rebound double-double, with C.J. Watson rounding out the group with 10.
Vucevic led all scorers, finishing with 27 on the night. Oladipo finished the night with 18, with Tobias Harris adding 11 off the bench. Elfrid Payton rounded out Magic men in double figures, finishing with 10.