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Pacers’ Balanced Attack Holds Off the Magic at Home

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Indiana Pacers had six players in double-figures on Wednesday night as they defeated the Orlando Magic by the score of 98-88 at Amway Center. Out of the 6 players in double-figures, none of them was named Paul George. C.J. Miles had 16 points and hit four three-point baskets to lead the Pacers. Serge Ibaka led the Magic with 20 points and nine rebounds.

“In the second half, I tried to be patient and do what I can to help my team.” – Pacers Guard C.J. Miles on his performance

The bench lead by Glenn Robinson III (14 points and 7 rebounds) and Al Jefferson (10 points and 7 rebounds) helped keep the lead as their starters got much needed rest. They outscored Orlando 38-23.

The Magic made a total team effort to contain George, who entered the game 19th in the league in scoring at 23.0 per game. He was held to a season low 8 points on 3 for 14 shooting in the contest. Aaron Gordon spent most of the game guarding George and did a very good job in keeping the All-Star out of the scoring column.

“But when you look at Paul George averaging 33 points a game over his last four and we held him to eight points. Starting with Aaron Gordon doing a great job on him and then guys switched out onto him are all his coverages, we brought the appropriate help so we did a good job there.” -Magic Head Coach Frank Vogel

In the opening half, outside of the struggles from George, the rest of the Pacers team did not have the same problems. They shot 16 for 25 from the floor as a team and held a nine-point lead going into the half. Besides the hot shooting from the Pacers not named Paul, they also got to the free throw line 17 times in the opening half, led by Jeff Teague who attempted nine. The Magic team only had eight total attempts from the charity stripe in the first half.

In the third quarter, Orlando became more aggressive in getting to the basket to either draw fouls or score inside. They had 12 of their 27 points come from in the paint in the third and as a team they got to the line 20 times in the second half.

Late in the game, the Magic turned up their defense and cut the defect to five points with under six minutes to go. But Evan Fournier committed two offensive fouls and Orlando had three crucial turnovers which allowed the Pacers to finish off the home team.

Orlando is now 19-32 for the season and they will return to Amway Center Friday night to take on the Toronto Raptors at 7pm. The Magic will look to defeat the Raptors for the second time in less than a week, as they defeated them by the score of 114-113 on Sunday night.

 

Points Of Interest:

  • Nikola Vucevic had his team-leading 22nd double-double of the season (15 points and 15 rebounds)
  • Indiana went 23 for 26 from the free throw line (Indiana is 2nd in the league in Free Throw percentage at 81.7%)
  • Fournier returned to the starting lineup and had 12 points before fouling out late in the fourth quarter

 

Danny Thompson is a contributing NBA reporter for Florida National News. He can also be found over at NBA Full Court Press Radio.

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