Recap: Indiana Pacers 101, Orlando Magic 99 (OT) | Magic Basketball

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May 06

Recap: Indiana Pacers 101, Orlando Magic 99 (OT)

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

BOX SCORE

With 8:14 left in the fourth quarter, the Orlando Magic were down by 19 points with the score at 82-63 in favor of the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers, just like in Games 2 and 3, used a strong third quarter surge (outscoring the Magic by 10 points in the period) to increase their lead to double-digits heading into the fourth quarter. And early on in the period, it seemed like Indiana was going to blow Orlando out of the water and put them out of their misery.

Staring at a 19-point deficit and also a 3-1 series deficit, things were looking bleak for the Magic. But instead of rolling over, head coach Stan Van Gundy — ever the fighter — didn’t give up. Coming out of an official timeout, Van Gundy made an adjustment that sparked a 26-7 run to end the fourth quarter, culminating in Nelson getting a chance to win the game on Orlando’s final possession in regulation.

What adjustment was that?

With Ryan Anderson continuing to get bottled up by the Pacers in Game 4, just like in the first three games of the series, Van Gundy went small and rolled the dice with a 5-man unit of Nelson-Redick-J. Richardson-Turkoglu-Davis. It’s a lineup that played a total of one minute together in the regular season.

So you can forgive head coach Frank Vogel for not being prepared and expecting that lineup to take the floor for the Magic.

That small-ball unit for Orlando rolled off 14 consecutive points, to cut their deficit to five points with the score at 82-77, before Indiana responded with a basket of their own. At that point, the Magic — echoing the fighting spirit of Van Gundy — made it clear that they weren’t going to go down without a fight.

Which brings things back to Orlando’s final possession of the fourth quarter with the ball in Nelson’s hands. The Magic had burned their final timeout on the previous possession so after they forced a shot clock violation on the Pacers, Van Gundy could not call a timeout to draw up a play on the ensuing possession. That can be seen as a good or bad thing depending on your crunch time philosophy.

Nelson took Leandro Barbosa off the dribble, dribble penetrated into the lane, stopped on a dime (which made it tough for Barbosa to contest the shot), and hoisted up a fadeaway jumper that fell way short.

Could Orlando have gotten a better shot?

Maybe. It’s always easy to second-guess in retrospect.

Let’s fast-forward to overtime. After Hill’s two free-throws, which came after Nelson reached in as Hill dribble penetrated into the lane and tried to kick the basketball out to the perimeter (a foul was the correct call), the Magic had the ball with 2.2 seconds left with a chance to tie or go for the win.

Orlando tried to get the basketball to Redick off a double screen set by Anderson and Davis at the top of the key, but Indiana defended it perfectly. Davis simultaneously slipped the screen but the Pacers were prepared for that, too. Ultimately, Davis got the ball at the right elbow and hoisted up a fadeaway jumper over Paul George that missed short. It’s hard to say the Magic could have gotten a better shot on that possession.

So here we are. Orlando trails 3-1 in their first round playoff series against Indiana with elimination looming in Game 5 on Tuesday. No matter what happens, whether the Magic win or lose that game, they should be commended for fighting throughout the series. It speaks volumes to how the players have played hard for Van Gundy.

In turn, Orlando (the city and the franchise) should be proud.

MVP (Most Valuable Player)

David West was the standout performer for the Pacers in Game 4, doing most of his damage in the third quarter (scoring 12 of his game-high 26 points in the period) while also chipping in offensively during the overtime session.

Defining Moment

Hill drew a reach-in foul on Nelson with 2.2 seconds left in overtime with the Magic in the penalty, making both free-throws to give Indiana a 101-99 lead. That proved to be the game-winning sequence for the Pacers.

That Was … an Instant Classic

Orlando was down by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter, yet rallied and forced overtime thanks to a 26-7 run. The Magic ultimately fell short after Davis missed a game-tying fallaway jumper with time expiring.

5 comments
ProselytizingJJ
ProselytizingJJ

I was ecstatic during the comeback and shocked a legit shot at Rd 2 ended on an indefensibly stupid foul by Jameer. But should this or any team be proud of playing hard throughout a series? No. Pride is born from achievement. In little league it can consist of playing hard and not giving up. In grown up sports it should come only from winning. 

CarloSimone
CarloSimone

And proud I am indeed.  I really was amazed at what happened in the fourth quarter in this game.  I thought for certain when Nelson shook Barbosa that shot was going to go in.  I've seen him do that many times and all the stars seemed to align.  But Nelson was just a little too gassed and didn't get his legs under him.  Oh well.  Serious props have to be given to Redick and Davis for that surge of sharp passing and scoring.  It really was amazing to watch.  If we're going to go down, let's go down swinging!  Maybe we can even steal one in Indiana in game 5.

erivera7
erivera7 moderator

 @ProselytizingJJ Disagree. They should be proud. No one expected the Magic to have a chance in this series. The fact that the series has been very competitive outside the third quarters of Games 2 and 3 speaks volumes. 

erivera7
erivera7 moderator

 @CarloSimone I have a feeling the series ends in Game 5, but we'll see. 

CarloSimone
CarloSimone

 @erivera7 I do too.  It seems like this was our best punch and we just couldn't get it done.  The only way I see Game 5 going our way is if the Pacers decide to let off the gas and the Magic see it and go for the kill before Indy regroups.  It's clear they are vastly more talented so it'll take a combination of them not stepping on our throats for the elimination and us fighting it out.  We'll see.