Playing for the third time already during the regular season, the Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Indiana Pacers by the score of 85-81. In this season series, the road team has won every game. For the Magic, this extends their winning streak to three games. Three players led the way for Orlando. Dwight Howard had one of his better offensive performances of the season, finishing with 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field (including 7-of-10 from the free-throw line), eight rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Jason Richardson chipped in with 17 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Ryan Anderson had 12 points and seven rebounds. As for Hedo Turkoglu, he had an odd stat-line, as he finished with nine points on 2-of-11 shooting from the field (including 0-of-6 from three-point range), 10 rebounds, four assists, and eight turnovers. The Pacers were led by a balanced attack, as five players scored in double-figures. Perhaps the player that had the best game for Indiana was Tyler Hansbrough, as he was able to come off the bench and put up 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field (including 5-of-6 from the free-throw line), seven rebounds, and two steals in roughly 20 minutes of playing time. Yes, Hansbrough put up numbers but it was also his energy and effort that impressed (ditto with Lou Amundson).
If you were looking for a well-played NBA game between two teams, you were looking in the wrong place. Both squads played on a back-to-back. Both the Magic and Pacers had to travel to play each other. And the result was a low-scoring slogfest that was unappealing to the eyes.
The most notable thing that happened in the game came near the end of the third quarter. The score was 60-50 in favor of Orlando with less than two minutes remaining in the period. Danny Granger executed a 3/4 pick-and-pop with Hansbrough, with Quentin Richardson and Earl Clark defending the play. Richardson came from behind Granger and was able to strip the basketball. As that happened, Granger inadvertently elbowed Richardson in the face as he lost control of the ball. The basketball eventually went off the hands of Clark as he was unable to secure it. From there, Richardson and Granger exchanged words alongside the Magic bench. Whatever what was said, Richardson shoved Granger and a small scuffle broke out between Orlando and Indiana. Clark and Hansbrough shoved each other as well.
Players and coaches for the Magic and Pacers were separated shortly after. The result was a double technical foul on Granger and Richardson, with a second technical foul on Richardson for instigating the fight (which resulted in an ejection for him). Clark and Hansbrough also earned double technical fouls. At the end of it all, Granger was awarded a technical free-throw and that was it.
For Orlando, the technical fouls didn’t stop there.
In the fourth quarter, three players for the Magic were called for technical fouls.
Von Wafer drew the first technical foul of the period, as all he did was inadvertently bump into Hansbrough. Hansbrough took the basketball away after Wafer was called for a travel. Wafer bumped into Hansbrough. Hansbrough probably took the liberty of exaggerating the collision. It worked, as Wafer was called for a technical foul that likely was triggered to avoid further confrontation between Orlando and Indiana.
Howard drew the second technical foul of the quarter for the Magic. Howard drew a foul on Roy Hibbert as he posted up on the left block. However, for whatever reason, Howard complained to the official about the way Hibbert was defending him and got a technical foul for his troubles.
The third and final technical foul in the period for Orlando came courtesy of Turkoglu. After Granger missed a three-point shot to tie the game for the Pacers with the score at 80-77 in favor of the Magic, Turkoglu secured the defensive rebound with 12 seconds left in regulation. Turkoglu, then, proceeded to throw the ball to the other end of the court. Turkoglu didn’t need to do that but he did it, and got a technical foul for it. Because Turkoglu made a mental error, that prolonged the game further for Orlando and gave Indiana extra life. Yet the Pacers were unable to take advantage — Hibbert fumbled an inbounds pass that would have probably had led to an open layup or dunk with barely any time coming off the clock while cutting the deficit to one point.
As such, thanks to four free-throws by Anderson, the Magic were able to escape with a victory.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.