Nelson, Magic down Pacers
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Jameer Nelson poured in 22 points and Dwight
Howard posted 16 to lead the Orlando Magic past the Indiana Pacers, 96-91, at
TD Waterhouse Centre.
Nelson, who dished out five assists, and Howard, who pulled down 11 rebounds,
each finished 7-of-12 from the field.
Grant Hill scored 14 points with six boards and Darko Milicic added 11 points
in the fourth quarter for the Magic, who have won five of their last six.
“This was a win we needed to get obviously coming off our last game and
against a team that we hadn’t had much success with lately so I thought it was
just a real good win for our guys,” Magic head coach Brian Hill stated. “It
was just a good solid effort from everybody.”
Orlando shot 49 percent from the floor and converted on 26-of-43 (60.5
percent) free throws.
Jermaine O’Neal netted 23 points on 7-of-17 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds
for the Pacers, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Jamaal Tinsley and
Stephen Jackson each contributed 19 points while Danny Granger had 10.
“Their shots were going in,” Tinsley said. “This is the NBA and guys get on a
run. They kept on making shots. It was a tough game for us. We had the
game, but they just outplayed us.”
Granger’s trey broke a 14-14 tie at the 5:28 mark in the opening quarter, but
a Howard free throw knotted the game again with 2 1/2 minutes to play. A layup
by Rawle Marshall and Jackson’s two hits from the charity stripe put the
Pacers up 27-22 after one.
Indiana maintained its advantage in the second, leading by as many as eight on
Marquis Daniels’ layup late in the frame. Howard, though, followed up with a
dunk to cut Orlando’s deficit to 51-45 at halftime.
O’Neal led the Pacers with 13 first-half points while Howard had 12 for the
Nelson’s two free throws and an alley oop by Howard squandered Indiana’s lead
at the 7:44 mark in the third. Six minutes later, Orlando went up by seven
after a Keith Bogans jump shot, but Marshall’s driving layup and one Jackson
free throw made it a 72-68 game.
The Pacers got as close as two, 79-77, in the fourth on a pair of Granger free
throws, but Darko Milicic answered with two layups and a free throw to give
the Magic a six-point edge with 4:45 left. Indiana was never able to recover
from that point on.
The Magic finished 34-of-69 (49.3 percent) shooting.
Orlando won for just the second time in its last seven home games against
Indiana…The Pacers committed 20 turnovers…Orlando travels to Miami on
Friday while Indiana hosts Cleveland…Attendance was 17,451.