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Pacers 123, Magic 102: Shorthanded Magic struggle in Indiana

The Magic lost for the second time in three days to the Pacers

Orlando Magic v Indiana Pacers Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Magic followed up their narrow loss to the Pacers on Saturday with a blow-out loss on Monday.

Indiana completed a sweep of the two-game set, managing to overcome some outside shooting struggles and turnover problems to hand a shorthanded Orlando team a 123-102 loss.

The Magic were held to a single free throw over the opening 3:30 of the game until Mo Bamba connected on a pair of threes to pull Orlando within 9-7.

Bennedict Mathurin - the No. 6 pick in the 2022 draft who entered the game averaging 19.1 points per, second most behind Paolo Banchero - then provided a quick spark off the bench. He hit the first three he took, after the Pacers missed their first five attempts, and completed a three-point play to give the Pacers a 21-14 lead. The Magic responded with a 12-2 run, capped with threes by Jalen Suggs and Gary Harris to open a 26-23 lead. The Magic led by one going into the second, but that was with the Pacers going just 1-for-11 from three and committing seven turnovers in the quarter.

The Pacers went on to miss 13 of their first 14 shots from deep until the threes eventually started to fall later in the second quarter. T.J. McConnell, Tyrese Haliburton and Oshae Brissett each connected from long range during a stretch that saw a three-point lead grow to 10 at 52-42 with 2:23 left in the half.

The Pacers finished the half 4 of 21 from three with 12 turnovers, but shot 77 percent from inside the arc (17-for-22) to carry a 54-45 lead into the break. Haliburton had nine points and nine assists at the half. Franz Wagner had 14 points and Harris added nine to lead the Magic, which shot 38 percent from the field in the half.

The Pacers opened the third on a 7-2 run to push the lead to 61-47. Suggs answered with a pull-up jumper followed by a lay-up in transition to spark an 8-0 Orlando run to pull within 61-55. The Pacers responded with a 7-0 run to go up 68-55. Indiana continued to score at will in the paint and mixed in the occasional three, with Mathurin connecting to take a 71-66 advantage. The Pacers led by 19 going into the fourth and soon went up by as many as 25.

Haliburton had 18 points and 14 assists in the win. Mathurin had a game-high 22 points on 6-for-13 shooting. The rookie led a strong performance by the Pacers’ bench, which combined for 71 points. McConnell added 19 points, shooting 7 of 8 from the field, including 3 of 4 from three, and Brissett finished with 18, going 4 of 7 from three. That helped alleviate the three-point struggles of Indiana’s starting unit, which combined to shoot 4-for-28 from three. Overall, the Pacers shot 50 percent from the field despite going just 13 of 46 from deep. They also committed 21 turnovers.

Wagner had 20 points and six rebounds to lead Orlando, which shot 42.4 percent from the field, going 11 of 35 from three (31.4 percent). Harris added 18 points off the bench and Bamba finished with 15.

The Magic, playing without Wendell Carter Jr. and the usual absentees, lost Chuma Okeke in the second quarter after he exited with knee soreness. Suggs, who had 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting, was also suffering from an ankle issue.

The team will have a few days off for Thanksgiving to recover before they host the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.