INDIANAPOLIS – The Orlando Magic were able to overcome an early 15-point deficit and for the first time in the series, won the third quarter. That was still not enough as the Magic were outscored 36-16 in the final quarter by the Indiana Pacers in an 105-87 Indiana victory on Tuesday. With the victory, the Pacers take the best-of-seven series from Orlando 4-1 and end the Magic’s season.
Jameer Nelson scored 15 of his game-high 27 points in the third quarter as the Magic were able to erase an early hole and take a 71-69 lead into the final period. Orlando had trailed for most of the game, but Ryan Anderson’s tip-in early in the third gave the Magic their first lead of the game at 51-50. Orlando never led by more than three at any point in the game.
A J.J. Redick free throw very early in the fourth quarter gave the Magic their biggest lead of the game at 72-69. Indiana responded with a 9-1 run; after at 3-pointer from Redick cut the lead to two, the Pacers responded with a 16-5 run to take their biggest lead of the game and put Orlando away. A trey from Danny Granger with 29 seconds to play made the biggest lead even bigger, pushing it to 20 before Indiana walked away with an 18-point-victory.
While Nelson led all scorers, Granger was not far behind with 25 points. Darren Collison came off the Pacers’ bench to score 19 points with 15 coming in the fourth quarter. George Hill finished with 15 points for Indiana while David West and Roy Hibbert added 12 and 11 respectively.
To complement Nelson’s 27, Glen Davis added 15 for Orlando to go with a team-high 8 boards. Anderson had his best scoring game of the series with 14 while Redick finished with 12 off the Orlando bench.
The series victory is the first for Indiana since 2005 while the Orlando Magic have now been ousted in the first round for a second straight year. Orlando will have a plethora of issues to address once again this offseason. As for the Pacers, they will move on to face either the defending Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat or the seventh-seeded New York Knicks. Miami currently leads that series three games to one.
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