Over three decades of NBA basketball, the Orlando Magic have witnessed plenty of big statistical efforts. In their inaugural season, and on this day 30 years ago however, came a franchise first.
The Magic had lost 23 of 28 games as they arrived at the Orlando Arena to take on the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 30, 1990. That night, Orlando would use a big fourth quarter to pull away from the Pacers, 129-111. In the process, guard Sam Vincent made Magic history by recording the team’s first-ever triple-double.
Indiana actually took an 86-85 lead into the final quarter, but Orlando was unstoppable offensively over the final 12 minutes. The Magic scored a then team-record 44 points in the fourth quarter to finish with a then franchise record 129 points. The 18-point margin of victory was also the largest ever at home to that point.
The Magic began to pull away early in the fourth quarter with a 21-6 run. After Terry Catledge converted a basket while being fouled by Indiana guard Mike Sanders, Pacers’ head coach Dick Versace was hit with consecutive technical fouls and ejected. Catledge hit his free throw and Vincent converted both technical free throws to push the lead to 106-92.
Vincent would finish the night with 21 points, 11 rebounds and a then Orlando record 17 assists in the victory. As a team, the Magic shot 53 percent from the field and did not make a three-pointer. Catledge paced Orlando with 31 points while Nick Anderson and Otis Smith each tallied 22. Reggie Theus added 19 points in the win.
Indiana’s Reggie Miller led all scorers with 35 points while shooting a cool 7-for-10 from distance. Detlef Schrempf added 19 points off the Pacers’ bench. Rik Smits and Vern Fleming both scored 14 points in the loss.
It would be less than two months later before the Magic had another player record a triple-double. Scott Skiles finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 17 assists in a win over the New York Knicks on March 20. But as the old adage goes, “you never forget your first”. The first triple-double in Orlando history came on this day three decades ago.