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Third quarter run by Indiana evens series with Orlando

May 1, 2012, 12:47 AM EDT

Orlando Magic v Indiana Pacers - Game Two Getty Images

For the first 27 minutes, Game 2 of the Indiana game against Orlando looked like Game 1 — the Pacers raced out to an early lead but then their offense went cold while the Magic got some inspired play and had the lead.

Then the Magic went on a 25-5 run in to close out the third quarter, pulled away and never looked back, getting a comfortable 93-78 win. A win that looked a lot more what Pacers fans expected this series to look like. Now the 1-1 series shifts to Orlando for Game 3 and we’ll see how a young Pacers team adjusts to playoff life of the road.

On paper the Pacers were their balanced selves again on offense — David West, Danny Granger and George Hill all had 18 points while Paul George had 17.

But during the run in the third it was George and West that seemed to be the spark. West was the Pacers’ best player on the night, not just the 18 points but he was physical all game long and hard for the Magic to handle.

What Indiana did well was play to their strengths in this series — they controlled the paint (they grabbed 34 percent of their missed shots with offensive rebounds and second chance points were key during the run) and the Pacers got out and got points in transition. The Magic need to grind it out to win this series and the Pacers pulled away when they got some easy buckets in transition.

The Magic were supposed to be dead in this series because they are without Dwight Howard the Pacers would own them inside. But in the first half Glen Davis and Ryan Anderson outplaying Roy Hibbert and West. Davis finished with 18 points. At one point in the second quarter Vogel pulled Hibbert to go smaller rather than punish the smaller Magic because it wasn’t working.

Orlando also did a good job in the first half running pick and roll, they broke down Indy’s defense then kicked out for three. It worked. They were getting the looks.

But in the second half the Pacers played better defense. Add to that Davis looked winded and wasn’t getting the same look and the Pacers got stops. Which they converted into those fast break points they needed.

Still, this is proving not to be an easy series for the Pacers. Orlando is playing with real grit and energy, showing that they are just Howard’s sidekicks. Jameer Nelson is setting guys up, players such as J.J. Redick (13 points) are stepping up.

Indiana showed for a stretch why we thought they would run away with this series. But they are going to have to show growth to be able to do it for longer and on the road if they want to start to fulfill that promise.

  1. thomaskouns - May 1, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    The most interesting part of this story is that Orlando sans Howard has even won one game and made this one interesting.

  2. 11jlacy - May 1, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    The pacers a deep team could really cause problems in the east!!!

  3. 11jlacy - May 1, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Grangers good but not elite but fits pacers system

  4. tsi431 - May 1, 2012 at 7:15 AM

    Then the Magic went on a 25-5 run in to close out the third quarter, pulled away and never looked back, getting a comfortable 93-78 win

    I didn’t watch this game but by after reading this article I though the Magic won. Went to NBA.COM and got the truth.

    • gatorgar - May 1, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      He was talking about the previous game… you needed to continue reading the article.

  5. xli2006 - May 1, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    Congrats PBT for mentioning the Pacers for what seems like only the 3rd or 4th time all year.

  6. 28loose - May 1, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Then the Magic went on a 25-5 run in to close out the third quarter, pulled away and never looked back, getting a comfortable 93-78 win.
    So what you are telling me is you can’t even get the winner of the game right. It was the PACERS that went on a third quarter run, and the PACERS who won the game. Seriously, how did you get this job?

  7. frooshiantee - May 1, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    I’m pretty sure they made a mistake. If they were talking about game 1 they would have said “getting a comfortable 81-77 win”. Also the link wouldn’t take you to a page that talks about Game 2. It’s either very poorly written or a blatant typo.

  8. metalhead65 - May 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    nice win by the pacers,just to bad they had to be on national tv when they chose to have their worse game of the year sat. pretty hard for them and their fans to play the no respect card when they put on that bad of a performance.

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