(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – The Indiana Pacers (8-6) begin their four-game homestand before seven game west coast road trip with 114 to 113 victory over the Orlando Magic (5-11).
The first quarter for the Pacers started much like last night’s game in Houston. Indiana fell behind 10-1 within the one minute and forty-eight seconds of game action. The offense was jump started by Tyrese Haliburton. He drained a deep three then assisted or scored the next eight Pacers points. Orlando would respond after deficit was down to two and extend their lead out to eleven. Bennedict Mathurin hit a three as time expired to end the quarter to make it a six-point deficit for Indiana at 28-22.
The theme for the second quarter for Indiana would be turnovers. Right when the team would get the deficit down to a possession, they would either miss a game tying shot or turn the ball over. In the second period, the blue and gold turned it over six times. Indiana would head into the locker room down 55-51 because of a half-court shot by Haliburton that touched nothing bet nylon. Haliburton and Mo Bamba would lead all scorers with 13 points. Myles Turner chipped in with 9 points and 8 rebounds. At halftime, Indiana trailed Orlando 55-51.
After trailing for the entirety of the game other than the first 20 seconds before Orlando’s first basket, the Indiana Pacers would tie the game and take the lead in the quarter. They would first tie it at 74 with just north of five minutes to go in the quarter. Indiana would go up by double figures while they were in the middle of a 16-3 run. Orlando would get 24 of their 29 third quarter points between Bol Bol and Franz Wagner (12 each). The defense for the Pacers would hold the rest of the Magic to 1/10 in the quarter. Indiana used a balanced attack with nobody scoring double figures in the period, but Buddy Hield would pace the team in scoring for the twelve minutes with nine points. In the quarter Indiana made seven of their fourteen three point shot attempts and would lead 89-84 going into the final twelve minutes.
The final twelve minutes could be described as a roller coaster, teeter totter, or swing because the two teams would exchange the lead a handful of times with multiple players making contributions for each team. The final 1:43 of the game was a whirlwind. Wagoner would hit a 28-foot three-pointer to give the Magic a 113-109 lead and would suck the energy (for a brief moment) out of the fieldhouse. Aaron Nesmith hit his career fifth three-pointer. The defense for the Pacers would force Jalen Suggs and Wagoner to throw up two shots late in the shot clock on their next two possessions. Indiana would possess the ball with 23.7 left and Haliburton would miss a side-stepping 30-foot three-pointer, BUT the 6’5’’ Aaron Nesmith between the 7’0’’ Bamba, 6’10’’ Wagner, and 7’2’’ Bol, would come down with the offensive and was fouled attempting a putback with 9.6 left. He would knock down the two free-throws to give the Pacers the lead at 114-113. Once again, the Pacers defense came up with a stop when it needed it by getting Wagner to miss a layup.
TOP PERFORMERS: Tyrese Haliburton (22p, 14a, 2s, 3b), Myles Turner (20p, 11r, 1b), Aaron Nesmith (19p, 4 three’s), Franz Wagner (29p, 5r, 3a), Bol Bol (22p, 11r, 2b), and Mo Bamba (21p, 9r). For tonight’s full box score, click here.
NOTES: Pacers are now 3-0 on the second night of back-to-backs and have their first four game winning streak since November of 2020. Tyrese Haliburton recorded his ninth double-double on the season, tenth 10+ assist game, and seventh 20+ points and 10+ assist game. Myles Turner recorded his sixth double-double out of the nine games he’s played this season.
NEXT UP: Both teams will enjoy a day off before reconvening at Gainbridge Fieldhouse Monday night at 7pm. The Kroger Pregame Show with Pat Boylan will start at 6:30pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan.