Despite a 15-point outing from Victor Oladipo, the Orlando Magic fell to the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, 97-92, in NBA preseason action. Orlando was playing its second game in as many nights, and was originally scheduled to visit Indiana on Friday; the Indiana Fever's trip to the WNBA Finals forced the Magic and Pacers to push their game up a day.
Orlando got 13 points off the bench from the newcomer Shabazz Napier; another 13 points from Nikola Vucevic; and a 13-point, 12-board double-double from Tobias Harris. Still, their efforts weren't enough to surmount the Pacers' challenge.
The Magic's tired legs showed: despite limiting Indiana to a chilly 41.3 percent shooting, they committed 23 fouls, giving the Pacers a decisive 32-to-8 edge in free-throw attempts. Spotting one's opponent such an advantage on the foul line is a tough order for any team to overcome, especially on the road.
Glenn Robinson III and C.J. Miles led the Pacers with 14 points apiece, and Ian Mahinmi contributed a steady eight points, nine boards, and three blocks at center.
The Pacers wrested control of the game in the third quarter, turning a five-point halftime deficit into a six-point lead behind Miles and Paul George; the pair combined for 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the floor, nearly matching Orlando's 16-point output. The Magic shot 35 percent with six turnovers in the frame, undermining their chance to hold or build upon their lead.
Orlando played minus Aaron Gordon as the second-year forward continues to recover from a broken jaw. Meanwhile, coach Scott Skiles gave the veterans Channing Frye, Jason Smith, and C.J. Watson the night off due to the back-to-back.
The Magic can even their preseason record at .500 this Sunday when they visit the Houston Rockets in Hidalgo, Texas.