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Magic 119, Pacers 118: Resilient Magic rally for comeback victory

Orlando erased a 17-point deficit to earn the win in the second night of a back-to-back

NBA: Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It was another comeback for the Orlando Magic. And this time they completed it.

One night after fighting back to tie the game only to go on a late-game scoring drought, the Magic rallied from 17 points down to defeat the shorthanded Pacers 119-118 in a gritty victory.

It was the outside shooting of Gary Harris, the inside play of Wendell Carter Jr., and the go-ahead three-point play by Franz Wagner that helped get the Magic the win...

Carter Jr. got off to another fast start, scoring six of the Magic’s first eight points. But the Pacers created quality looks and struck early from deep, connecting on four of their first seven three-point attempts to open an early 16-8 lead. The hot shooting continued as the lead reached 14 on a three by Torrey Craig that made it 28-14. An 8-0 Magic run, with threes by Cole Anthony and Harris, pulled the Magic within 30-24 with 1:34 left in the first. It was the lone make in the quarter for Anthony, who shot 1-for-7 from the field.

The Magic trailed 34-28 after the quarter, with the Pacers shooting 50 percent from the field and from three (6 of 12).

Terrence Ross opened the second with a triple and Harris followed with two more to bring his total to four makes from deep in 10 minutes. But the Pacers matched them by hitting their first three three-point attempts of the quarter.

Lance Stephenson scored 10 quick second quarter points to help the Pacers open a double-digit advantage. An 8-0 Pacers run, capped with a Justin Holiday three, pushed the Indiana lead to 58-43.

Orlando trailed 67-53 going into the half. The Magic shot 40 percent from three but allowed the Pacers to convert on 10 of 19 attempts (52.6). That included four by Craig, matching his season-high for three-point makes in a game.

The Magic scored inside and got to the line during a 7-0 run in the third that cut the Pacers’ lead to single digits at 71-62, including this Franz poster.....

Craig responded with yet another three and the lead was quickly back up to 17. A 10-2 Magic run again pulled Orlando within nine, and again the Pacers answered from deep with a three by Holiday. A pull-up by Chuma Okeke capped a quick 6-0 Orlando burst to get the Magic within 86-78 with three minutes left in the quarter. Carter Jr.’s slam out of the post and a three by Okeke then made it a two-possession game at 88-83.

Even Robin Lopez got in on the run, converting a patented hook shot seconds after checking in during the quarter’s final minute to end a 14-2 Magic run and make it a two-point game at 88-86.

Lopez added another hook shot early in the fourth to tie it. The Pacers scored the next six points, leaving the Magic to once again play catch-up. Trailing by nine, Wagner drove the lane for a three-point play. Harris then drained a pair of threes as the Magic once again fought back to tie it at 108-108.

The Pacers, after a timeout, threw away the inbounds, leading to a pair of free throws by Anthony with 1:47 left to put the Magic in front at 110-108, their first lead since 6-5. After an Indiana bucket, Wagner Euro-stepped into the lane and hit the floater plus the foul for a three-point play and 113-110 lead with 1:17 to go.

Anthony drained his free throws to maintain the three-point lead and Jamahl Mosley elected to have the Magic continue to foul rather than allow a potential game-tying three, giving Orlando an impressive comeback victory.

Harris finished with 2 team-high 22 points, going 6 of 11 from three. Carter Jr. had 19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Wagner added 17 points. Anthony’s shooting struggles continued as he went just 2-for-15 from the field, but he finished with 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Suggs also struggled with his shot (6 of 16) but had 12 points and eight assists.

The Magic, now winners of four of their last six, return home for a quick weekend back-to-back that begins Saturday with the Memphis Grizzlies.