Kicking off the New Year, the Orlando Magic suited up for their first game since Wednesday in Indiana against the Pacers. The New Year brought many of the same issues for the Magic, as the Pacers cruised to a 117-104 victory.
Much like their first trip to Indiana, the Magic offense was seemingly non-existent early on. After going up 6-2 early in the quarter, the Magic gave up a 12-0 run to the hosts, failing to find any balance or consistency on that end. Turnovers didn’t help the Magic either, with Indiana using their length to tip passes and wreck havoc on the sluggish, lifeless Magic bunch. After one, the Pacers found themselves comfortably up by 10, 27-17.
Sporting no energy on either end, the Magic began to settle in a little bit on the offensive end. After falling behind by as many as 13 early in the second quarter, the Magic slowly cut into the Pacers lead, getting it down to as few as five late in the half. Behind Myles Turner, the Pacers finished the quarter on a mini 15-9 run to push the lead back out to 11 after a three-point floater from Aaron Brooks at the buzzer. At the half, the Pacers were in control, up 62-51.
Out of halftime, the Magic were lifeless once again, allowing the Pacers to quickly push their lead to a game-high 18. Looking for a spark defensively at the point guard spot, Frank Vogel turned to Elfrid Payton to start the half, but was unable to get the spark he was hoping for. The Magic lost shooters, and struggled to contain the Pacers dribble drives, while shots continued to not fall on the offensive end. Despite cutting the lead back down to 12 late in the quarter, the Pacers still led by 16, 89-73, heading into the fourth.
Facing another big fourth quarter deficit, the Magic got off to a quick start in the final quarter, cutting the Pacers lead down to nine in the opening minutes. The Pacers quickly answered, going on a quick 6-0 run to push their lead back up to 15, prompting a Magic timeout. The Magic were unable to get any momentum going, ultimately emptying the bench and falling for the Pacers yet again.
Turner led all scorers, finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Paul George added 19, with Brooks scoring 14 off the bench. Jeff Teague and Al Jefferson each added 12, with Thaddeus Young scoring 10.
Nikola Vucevic finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Magic. Jeff Green and Serge Ibaka both scored 17 on the night. Aaron Gordon added 13, while Jodie Meeks finished with 11.