The Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Indiana Pacers by the score of 111-96, getting back in the win column after losing to the Detroit Pistons on Monday. The Magic were led by a balanced attack, as six players scored in double-figures. Dwight Howard led the way for Orlando with 19 points, 16 rebounds, three blocks, and two steals. Howard befuddled Roy Hibbert defensively, holding him to four points and two rebounds in roughly 15 minutes of action. With Howard able to shut down the Pacers’ lone threat in the low post, they had to rely on a perimeter attack that couldn’t muster enough offense to overcome Hibbert’s lack of production. Yes, Indiana was able to make a game of it at times throughout the evening, but the Magic’s firepower offensively was too overwhelming. In total, Orlando was able to make 16 three-pointers, two short of their season-high. Jason Richardson finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu had an efficient outing, putting up 18 points (on 7-of-10 shooting), seven rebounds, and four assists. Ryan Anderson contributed with 14 points. Jameer Nelson had 12 points, while J.J. Redick chipped in with 10 points. Lights out three-point shooting by Orlando was the difference in the game, when it all comes down to it.
On offense, the Magic were able to do almost whatever they wanted.
Howard had a decent game offensively for his standards, but the perimeter players for Orlando were the ones that stood out against Indiana.
The Pacers struggled consistently closing out on the Magic’s shooters and they paid the price for it, especially in the second quarter when the game nearly got out of hand. Orlando is notorious for going on scoring runs that feel like an avalanche is falling and the opponent has no choice but to accept being buried as the onslaught slowly comes barreling towards them.
That’s what happened to Indiana in the period.
The quarter started innocently enough for the Pacers, as they were trailing by three points. But after Danny Granger connected on a three-point shot, that’s when the Magic went on a 19-6 run that — effectively — decided the game.
[11:26] Anderson makes 25-foot three-point jumpshot (Redick assist)
[10:56] Arenas makes 25-foot three-point jumpshot (Anderson assist)
[9:45] Bass makes layup
[9:23] Redick makes layup
[8:59] Richardson makes 25-foot three-point jumpshot (Redick assist)
[8:25] Anderson makes 26-foot three-point jumpshot (Arenas assist)
[8:03] Bass dunk (Richardson assist)
[7:43] Anderson makes 26-foot three-point jumpshot (Arenas assist)
The beauty of the scoring run is that Orlando got points in two of the most efficient ways on a basketball court — three-pointers and layups or dunks.
Also, notice that the Magic assisted on each three-point shot. That is evidence of the great ball movement that Orlando displayed during their spree, freely sharing the basketball and finding the open man. Tyler Hansbrough got the worst of it for Indiana, struggling to close out on Anderson as he made three threes in the period. Hansbrough wasn’t the only player for the Pacers that did a poor job of accounting for the Magic’s shooters, though.
Orlando butchered Indiana’s defense with kick-outs in pick and rolls after dribble penetration occurred. Gilbert Arenas, Nelson, and Turkoglu were the engineers in the destruction, while Anderson, Redick, and Richardson did their jobs.
And even though the Magic were okay defensively, the perimeter defenders deserve credit for playing with better energy and effort than they did against the Pistons. Howard was a force on defense, in particular.