Indiana Pacers use strong fourth quarter to beat Magic


Looking to bounce back to .500, the Indiana Pacers put on a rout in the fourth quarter to help them secure a 97-84 win over the Orlando Magic.

Containing the Orlando guards was always going to be crucial for Indiana to pull out a home win and move back to an even record (4-4), but the impact of starting forward and leading scorer Evan Fournier was nearly enough to knock Indy back down a peg.

A first round selection in 2012, Fournier led the visitors with 21 points including four three-pointers but failed to make a major impact in nearly every other aspect of the game. Victor Oladipo also stood out as Elfrid Payton was limited on the scoring front, and the IU alum tallied 15 points and 7 boards on 7-18 shooting.

For Indiana, Paul George led the way once again and nearly eclipsed 30 points for the fourth straight game, instead finishing with 27 points and 7 assists to lead the way. George is showing shades of old and new, finding his range and surprising the crowd with a pull up three or two. Last night, he was 3-6 from beyond the arc.

The Good
For starters, any win is a good one even if it comes in an ugly fashion. Almost everyone played well, but there were a few outliers in the lineup (looking at you, Monta).

The Pacers were excellent from the FT line last night and after performing so poorly from the line against Cleveland that it may have cost them a win, Indiana turned the tide to shoot 18-22 at home.

George Hill deserves special mention for his play last night as well. The guy hit on all cylinders and was Indy’s most efficient scorer, with 23 points on 8-13 shooting, including 4-6 from 3pt range (12 backpacks!) and 3-4 from the line.

The Bad
Rodney Stuckey chose to play through a sprained ankle last night, but when he went down again in the second half it looked worrying. However, Stuckey came back and proved himself to be as tough as nails to keep on battling. If the injury had been a little more severe, we’d be singing a different tune this morning.

To the real bad stuff, though, Monta Ellis struggled again last night. He shot just 1-9 from the floor and totalled just two points, four rebounds, and four assists. Not exactly what Indiana had in mind. Ellis shot the ball pretty well against Cleveland for what Pacers fans had seen, but last night was further proof that it may take even more time to settle him into a rhythm.

Next: Purdue takes two steps back

Game Notes

  • Both teams turned the ball over far too often – Orlando w/ 21, Indiana w/ 18
  • The Pacers forced 12 steals, above their average of 9, to keep them in the top seven
  • Indiana shot 44.2% from the field compared to Orlando’s 39.7%
    • Pacers were also 44% from 3pt (25 attempts) compared to Orlando’s 30.3% (33 attempts)

After a day’s rest, Indiana travels to Boston tomorrow night to take on the Celtics, tipoff set for 7:30 pm ET.