In securing an ugly win over the Orlando Magic, the Indiana Pacers moved into uncharted territory on the season, improving to four games over .500 at 26-22. The Pacers took the lead early in the first quarter as part of an 11-0 run and wouldn’t look back, but the Magic kept the Pacers on alert throughout the game.
The game began to get mucked up in the third quarter when whistles became a huge factor, sending Orlando to the line 14 times, closing a double figure lead to four late in the third. The biggest saving grace for the Pacers in a game where they ultimately found themselves outshot at the free throw line by two was Orlando’s struggles at the line, going just 20-28.
After scoring 56 first half points, the Pacers were held to just 42 second half points, but still won the half by holding the Magic to 14 fourth quarter points (despite scoring just 18 themselves). Shots weren’t falling for Paul George tonight, who finished with a season low eight points on 3-14 shooting, but it became a team effort for the Pacers, who had six double figure scorers.
C.J. Miles led the way with 16 points, 14 of those coming in the second half on four three pointers (and a key rebound and fast break). Miles spent the first half in foul trouble, but didn’t let it deter him from coming on strong in the second half. In a half were points at a premium, all 14 of Miles’s points were a dagger on Orlando’s comeback chances, by pushing Indiana up three possessions or double figures each time.
Glenn Robinson III provided the same spark with nine first half points. He finished with 14 on the night, going a perfect 5-5 with a pair of threes. Robinson led the Pacers along with George and Al Jefferson with seven rebounds, helping to secure a rebounding edge in Indiana’s favor.
Jefferson had 10 points off the bench, joining Robinson in an impressive bench showing. Rodney Stuckey returned to action, looking sharp with eight points, getting to the line six times. Unfortunately, Stuckey turned his ankle late in the game. He would remain in the game immediately after however, and he is optimistic that he will be fine.
Jeff Teague had 13 points and nine assists, leading the Pacers in free throw attempts, going 8-9, but he did commit five turnovers. Thaddeus Young got Indiana started on the right track, scoring eight of Indiana’s first 18 points, finishing with 12 points and three steals. Myles Turner had 11 points, hitting a three and recording the Pacers’ lone block on the night.
The win not only pushes the Pacers to four games over .500, but it is their first back-to-back win on the road all season. Indiana has played better ball on the road, improving to 4-3 in their last seven away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse. They’ll have a real chance to wrap up a winning road trip when they face the Brooklyn Nets on Friday before the schedule starts to stiffen up.