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Indiana Pacers 121, Orlando Magic 109: Oladipo shines, Magic drop ninth-straight

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Former Magic guard Victor Oladipo had 26 points, helping to extend Orlando’s losing streak

NBA: Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

New starting lineup, same result.

Frank Vogel tinkered with the Magic first unit, replacing Terrence Ross with Jonathon Simmons, in hopes of improving the fledgling Orlando defense and snapping an eight-game losing streak.

But a new face in the starting unit was not enough to solve the deep-rooted problems the Magic are facing right now as they fell 121-109 to the Pacers.

And once again, an old face aided in the Magic downfall. Victor Oladipo scored 26 points on a near perfect shooting night as he went 11-for-14 from the field and didn't miss his first shot until a contested three with 6:24 remaining. He connected on four of six three-point attempts for the Pacers, who as a team made 15 of 26 attempts from long range (57.7 percent).

The Magic moved and shot the ball well early, hitting five of 10 three-point attempts, in the opening quarter but were unable to take advantage thanks in part to seven turnovers (Remember when they lost to the Pacers last week mainly because they committed 22 turnovers?). Even with a more aggressive defender in the lineup in Simmons, the Magic continued to struggle against the pick-and-roll and defend the paint.

Oladipo's pull-up jumper opened a 29-21 lead. Two free throws by Myles Turner, who had nine of his 18 points in the first, increased the lead to 33-23 as the trend of Orlando's poor opening quarters continued.

The Magic protected the ball much better in the second, committing just one turnover. They couldn't chip into the Pacers' lead much thanks in part to Oladipo, who finished with 18 points in the half on 8-for-8 shooting. The Pacers shot 51.2 percent in the first half, including 7-for-12 from three (58.3 percent).

The Magic shot 43.2 percent from the field, hitting 8 of 21 from three (38.1 percent). Aaron Gordon and Mo Speights each had nine first half points. Ross, who first checked in for Evan Fournier with 2:54 remaining in the first, hit his first two shots off the bench. Simmons, who fought his way into the land and generated some drive-and-kick opportunities, was 2-for-5 from the field in the first half for seven points.

In the third, After Simmons turned the ball over, Lance Stephenson's layup gave the Pacers a 82-70 lead. D.J. Augustin then scored nine points during the Magic's 14-3 run to end the quarter and pull within 85-84.

A jumper by Fournier early in the fourth gave the Magic their first lead since early in the second quarter at 86-85. Domantas Sabonis and Stephenson then orchestrated a 9-0 run to rebuild the Pacers' lead. After a dunk by Gordon pulled the Magic within 95-91, Oladipo banked in a three (11-for-11 at that point) that ignited a 13-0 run to seal the win and send the Magic to a ninth straight loss.

Simmons finished with 21 points. Ross, who had seven points, made his first two shots off the bench and then missed eight of his next nine attempts. Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 12 rebounds for his fifth straight double-double. Gordon added 16 points and four blocks.

Bogdanovic had 22 points and Sabonis added 19 points for the Pacers, who shot 53.2 percent from the field.

The Magic will try to avoid having their losing streak reach double figures when they host the Thunder on Wednesday.