Magic 97, Pacers 86

Tim Povtak, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


ORLANDO - The Orlando Magic hit a season-high 12 3-point baskets Wednesday night against the top-rated defensive team in the NBA, rolling to a 97-86 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Center Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 16 points and 15 rebounds, but it was the 3-point flurry by J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson that broke down the Pacers' defense.
Redick and Nelson had 14 points apiece, and each made four of his six 3-point attempts. Paul George had 20 points for the Pacers, who trailed through the final three periods. George Hill had 15 points.
The Pacers, who won by 27 points Tuesday night in Charlotte, came into the game allowing opponents to shoot only 31.6 percent from 3-point range, but the Magic torched them Wednesday.
The Magic hit 12-of-21 from long range, the most they have made this season and the most the Pacers have allowed.
For Vucevic, it was the eighth consecutive game in which he had at least 12 rebounds and his eighth consecutive game of double figures in both points and rebounds.
The Magic led by as many as 21 points in the third period, getting four consecutive 3-point baskets from Nelson, Arron Afflalo, Josh McRoberts and Redick.
The Magic led 51-35 at intermission, capitalizing on a 3-point burst in the second period when they made five of their eight attempts. They led by as many as 17 points in the first half after a slow start. The Pacers led by as many as seven in the first quarter.
George led everyone with 14 points in the first half. Magic forward Glen Davis, making his first start in almost a month, had nine points in the opening period, showing no sign of any problems with his shoulder.
Nelson, who was bothered by a left hip injury earlier this season, left the game briefly with a limp after getting clipped trying to run through a screen, but he returned to start the second half.
NOTES: Pacers coach Frank Vogel said before Wednesday's game that the key to his team's defensive prowess is "length." The Pacers were allowing the fewest points (88.9), the lowest field goal percentage (.411) and the lowest 3-point field goal percentage (.316) in the league. "We're probably the longest team in the league," Vogel said. "When you have length defensively, you have a lot of options, a lot of weapons. We also have guys who play hard every night. Not every team has that." ... Davis was back in the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 19 when he sprained his left shoulder and missed the next 11 games. Davis returned to action Sunday as a reserve. Without him in the starting lineup, the Magic were 1-11. ... Vogel said that Pacers forward Danny Granger is still a couple of weeks away from playing his first game this season. Granger hasn't played since the preseason when he went out with a sore left knee. "With him last season, we were one of the top 10 teams offensively," he said. "If we can get to that point again, we'd have a chance to do something special." ... This was the first meeting between the two teams since the Pacers beat the Magic, 4-1, in the first round of the playoffs.