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Orlando Magic 114, Indiana Pacers 106 : bench sparks Magic past Pacers

Orlando’s second unit came up big, as the Magic notched their first win of the preseason.

NBA: Preseason-Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Still looking for their first win of the preseason, the Orlando Magic welcomed the Indiana Pacers to the Amway center. Locked in a back and forth contest for much of the second half, the Magic held on to knock off the Pacers for their first win of the preseason, 114-106

With Evan Fournier sitting out for rest, the Magic were going to be looking for someone to take the scoring burden early. Serge Ibaka did just that, scoring seven of the Magic’s 19 first quarter points. Despite his good start offensively, Ibaka, like the rest of the Magic’s starters, had issues on the defensive end, giving up 30 points on 52.5 percent shooting in the opening 12 minutes. Turnovers also continued to plague the hosts, with Orlando coughing it up 10 times, leading to 15 Pacer points.

The second quarter was a completely different story for the Magic. Orlando’s second unit, led by Bismack Biyombo and Jeff Green, helped the Magic storm back into the game, thanks in large part to a 34-10 run to open the quarter. The second unit looked like a well oiled machine, wrecking havoc on the defensive end, while moving the ball at a high rate on the offensive end. At the half, the Magic found themselves leading the Pacers, 63-53.

Out of halftime, the Magic’s starters showed some signs of improvement on the offensive end, thanks to continued strong play from Ibaka. Orlando’s marquee offseason acquisition scored nine of the Magic’s 21 for the quarter, including knocking down his second three-pointer of the game. Aaron Gordon also began settling in, scoring seven in the quarter. Despite showing some improvement, Orlando continued to struggle with turnovers, coughing it up eight times in the quarter. After three, the Magic trailed the Pacers, 87-84.

Down three heading to the fourth, the Magic needed to once again find what worked in the second quarter. With the second unit still in to start the fourth, the Magic and Pacers traded buckets early on, prompting Frank Vogel to bring his starters back in. Ibaka promptly knocked down a wing three-pointer, followed by a three-point play courtesy of Gordon on the fastbreak.

Ibaka led all scorers, finishing with 19 points and 14 rebounds on the night. Green led the Magic’s bench with 16, while Gordon joined Ibaka as the only Magic starters in double figures, finishing with 15. C.J. Wilcox knocked down a set of three-pointers, leading to 12 points on the night. Damjan Rudez all but locked up a roster spot, finishing with 11 points, five assists and four rebounds on the night.

All five Pacers starters finished in double figures, led by second-year big man Myles Turner’s 17. Paul Geroge, seeing his first action of the preseason, scored 16, while Thaddeus Young and Jeff Teague each scored 15 on the night. Monta Ellis finished the night with 14 for the Pacers as well.