INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- The Indiana Pacers managed to get a late game surge as they closed the game with a 19-2 run. Their late run gave the Pacers a 97-84 win over the Orlando Magic to improve their record to 4-4 on the season. No team could pull away throughout this game until the Pacers did at the end of the game. Indiana struggled at points throughout this game, but they played their best basketball when it mattered most.
Paul George carried the Pacers offense in the first quarter. He had 19 points off of 6-of-9 shooting from the field, including 2-of-2 from three-point range and 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Indiana scored 25 points as a team and so did the Magic. The Pacers only trailed once during the opening quarter and it was at the 0:37 mark (25-23).
George Hill and Rodney Stuckey handled most of the offensive production in the second quarter. Hill had 11 points and Stuckey added six points in the quarter. The Pacers were in the lead for the remainder of the quarter after George Hill made a three-pointer with 9:11 left to play in the quarter. At the half, the Pacers were up 49-48 on the Magic.
Rodney Stuckey left the game with an ankle sprain. This was the same ankle that he was already having problems with from another recent sprain. There have been no updates so far on Stuckey's status for Wednesday's game against the Boston Celtics, but Stuckey certainly has a very high pain tolerance and could fight his way into playing. He came back to play around with about three minuted remaining in the second half, but he was unable to finish out the game.
The Pacers received an all-around offensive quarter in the third. Pacers received scoring from; C.J. Miles (6), George Hill (5), Myles Turner (4), Paul George (3), Jordan Hill (3), and Monta Ellis (2). This was a very back-and-forth quarter by both teams. Indiana finished the quarter with a 72-71 lead. The fourth quarter appeared to be primed for an interesting show between the two teams. The Pacers certainly didn't disappoint the home fans in the final quarter either.
Both teams went back and forth with small leads until the Pacers turned up their performance. Indiana closed the game on a 19-2 run to ultimately win the game by a score of 97-84. Despite the Magic defense over rotating to prevent Paul George and George Hill from thriving in the half-court, both players managed to give their team a strong offensive push to win the game. Indiana's 19-2 run scoring was made from; George Hill (7), Paul George (5), Chase Budinger (3), and Ian Mahinmi (2). All of the points were connected to Paul George and George Hill, whether by the scoring directly or by setting up the basket with an assist.
The Pacers shot the ball well from all regards; 34-77 (44.2 percent) FGM-A, 11-25 (44.0 percent) 3PM-A, and 18-22 (81.8 percent) FTM-A. Pacers played quality defense as the Magic had 22 total turnovers and shot poorly across the board; 31-78 (39.7 percent) FGM-A, 10-33 (30.3 percent) 3PM-A, and 12-17 (70.6 percent) FTM-A. But the problem area tonight was taking care of the basketball. Indiana turned the ball over 18 times and allowed 34 points off turnovers, which also helped contribute to the Magic's 16 fast break points. Pacers moved the ball well and made their open shots as they had 25 assists as a team.
Indiana narrowly lost the rebounding battle in this game. Orlando had 44 total rebounds, 37 defensive rebounds, and seven offensive rebounds. The Pacers had 42 total rebounds, 36 defensive rebounds, and six offensive rebounds. With the disparity in shooting efficiency in favor of the Pacers, this category's narrow advantage didn't matter. Indiana made a lot of plays on the defensive side of the ball with their 12 steals and four blocks. It was an overall quality game by the Pacers, but their only problem area was turnovers. The Magic averaged 1.89 points per Pacers turnover. That is a very high number and was the main reason as to why this game wasn't a blow out.
The Pacers did a quality job of creating shots off the dribble, using screens, and by simply moving without the basketball. Their offense has seen significant improvement since the first game of the season. Indiana is getting easier shot attempts for their key players by relying on their individual isolation skills for offense, which in return has resulted in easier shots for everybody across the board. Indiana just needs to get into the film room and onto the practice court to fine tune some communication errors in their half-court offense. Indiana made some terrible turnovers, which prevented them from scoring and it also gave the Magic a significant amount of easy points. But overall this performance was extremely positive and is certainly something to build on.
Statistics (via ESPN):
George Hill: 23 PTS (8-13 FGM-A, 4-6 3PM-A, 3-4 FTM-A), 7 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 3 PF, +20 (+/-), and 35 MIN.
Paul George: 27 PTS (7-17 FGM-A, 3-6 3PM-A, 10-11 FTM-A), 4 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL, 0 BLK, 6 TO, 2 PF, +9 (+/-), and 36 MIN.
Monta Ellis: 2 PTS (1-9 FGM-A, 0-2 3PM-A, 3-4 FTM-A), 4 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 1 PF, -5 (+/-), and 33 MIN.
Ian Mahinmi; 8 PTS (4-6 FGM-A, 0-0 3PM-A, 0-0 FTM-A), 9 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 2 PF, +9 (+/-), and 28 MIN.
C.J. Miles: 9 PTS (3-8 FGM-A, 2-6 3PM-A, 1-2 FTM-A), 2 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 2 PF, +11 (+/-), and 27 MIN.
Myles Turner: 10 PTS (4-6 FGM-A, 0-0 3PM-A, 2-2 FTM-A), 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 2 PF, +4 (+/-), and 20 MIN.
Chase Budinger: 6 PTS (2-3 FGM-A, 2-3 3PM-A, 0-0 FTM-A), 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 2 PF, +18 (+/-), and 17 MIN.
Jordan Hill: 6 PTS (2-7 FGM-A, 0-0 3PM-A, 2-3 FTM-A), 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 1 PF, +2 (+/-), and 21 MIN.
Rodney Stuckey: 6 PTS (3-8 FGM-A, 0-2 3PM-A, 0-0 FTM-A), 2 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 1 PF, -2 (+/-), and 18 MIN.
Team: 97 PTS (34-77 FGM-A, 11-25 3PM-A, 18-22 FTM-A), 42 REB, 25 AST, 12 STL, 4 BLK, 18 TO, and 16 PF.
Other Team: 8 fast break points, 16 allowed fast break points, 36 points in the paint, 32 points allowed in the paint, 34 points allowed off turnovers, and 21 points scored off turnovers.
Paul George Highlights - Orlando Magic:
Quotes (via Pacers.com):
Evan Fournier on the difference in this game:
"They played better defense, you have to give credit to the Pacers. Paul George made some great plays. They had more energy at the end of the game than we did."
Paul George on his offense after his 19-point first quarter:
"I expected the rest of the game to be a little different. They applied some pressure. I tried to get other guys some looks and it opened the game up."
George Hill on how the team succeeds:
"If we can get stops, we're going to get easy buckets on the offensive end. I think we fuel off our defense. When our defense is struggling, our offense struggles. In the five years I've been here, when our defense is settled and all clicking on the right page, our offense is clicking also."
Paul George on the recent quality play of Myles Turner:
"He's great. He's always ready to learn. He comes in and does his job. I'm very proud of the steps he's taking. He's going to be great for us."
Chase Budinger on how the Pacers closed the game:
"We definitely locked down defensively, really helped one another, got some steals and that led to fast break points, open jump shots, things like that."
Frank Vogel on George Hill's recent play:
"He’s played superb all year, just a steady performer for us. 23 points with no turnovers is terrific."
Paul George on how he was able to do some of his scoring against the Magic:
"I think one thing you've got to do on this team is have constant movement. I got moving, was able to cut and take advantage of their aggressive defense."
Paul George on one of the keys to victory:
"We got some turnovers that gave us some energy. We (were) able to come down, make some shots — I was able to make a three — (and) kind of separate us a little bit. I think we just coasted down the stretch."
Key Moments (via ESPN):
- Paul George surpassed Bill Keller for third all-time in Pacers history for made three-pointers. George now has 509 made three-pointers as a member of the Pacers.
- The Indiana Pacers won their 1,000th home win in their franchise history.
- Paul George has scored the most points in any three-game stretch of his career after scoring 27 points tonight. George has scored 95 points (36, 32, 27) in his last three games.
- George Hill set his season high in points (23) and rebounds (7).
- The Pacers set their season high for assists with 25.
- Indiana outscored Orlando 36-32 in paint. That is the first time they've outscored an opponent in the paint this season.
- Orlando committed 22 turnovers in this game. Indiana has forced 20+ turnovers already in three games this season.
- The Pacers have won five consecutive regular season games against the Magic.
- Indiana has won six consecutive home games against Orlando.
- Pacers have won four of their last five games, which is impressive considering they have played five games in a seven day span. The one loss was a close 101-97 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers this past Sunday.
- Myles Turner tied his career high in points (10) off of 4-of-6 shooting from the field.
Next game is on Wednesday when the Indiana Pacers play the Boston Celtics. Tip-off is at 7::30 PM EST at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.