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Instant Rewind: Pacers 111, Magic 106

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Instant Rewind

For the second consecutive game, the Pacers’ second unit became the story.

After scoring a season-high 69 bench points against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana’s second unit finished with 58 tonight. The point parade led the Blue & Gold to a 111-106 victory over the Orlando Magic inside Amway Center.

Aaron Holiday finished with a team-high 20 points, hitting that mark for the second straight outing, while Doug McDermott followed with 19. Domantas Sabonis notched a double-double with 16 points and 15 boards in his first game back from a left ankle sprain. Edmond Sumner added 12.

A slow start for both sides led to an 11-all score after the first five minutes. Sumner provided the majority of the Blue & Gold’s offense, scoring eight of those points in a variety of ways. The Xavier product hit 3-of-3 from the charity stripe, drilled a triple, and used his speed to bank in a cutting layup by the 7:11 mark of the frame.

As the frame continued, the Blue & Gold turned to its reserves to propel the offense. Trailing 17-16 with 4:20 to go, McDermott knocked in seven quick points for the Pacers. The crafty forward cut his way to the paint for two easy buckets, then followed with a snipe from the top of the key in a 56-second span to give Indiana a 23-20 lead at the 3:26 mark.

Down the stretch, the frame continued to be a back-and-forth affair. Neither team stretched the lead past a single possession. However, the youngest Holiday got the last laugh of the frame.

With 2.1 seconds left, Aaron Holiday received an inbound pass from T.J. McConnell. Holiday squared up his defender and launched a 38-footer before the buzzer sounded. The ball banked high off the glass and in, giving Indiana a 33-30 edge heading into the second.

McDermott and the Pacers’ second unit continued to hold a slim Indiana lead despite 10 quick points from NBA veteran Terrence Ross. The last notable member of the Magic remaining after the trade deadline just could not miss. Eventually, Orlando grabbed a 42-41 lead on R.J. Hampton’s step-back jumper with 8:21 to go.

However, the Pacers did not fold. Caris LeVert’s and-one pickup ignited a 16-5 Indiana run over the next 3:40. Aaron Holiday added two treys during the run, including one from the right side that pushed the Pacers ahead 57-47 with 4:41 remaining.

Justin Holiday’s three from the left wing then broke a 2:42 scoreless span for both teams and extended the Blue & Gold’s lead to 13 with 1:59 to go. The squad managed to stretch the lead as high as 15 down the stretch before a pair of free throws from Mo Bamba with 1.7 seconds trimmed it to 64-51 before the break.

Indiana kept the lead in double figures over the first half of the frame. After scoring just four points in the first half, Brogdon broke the double-figure mark by notching six of the first 11 Pacers points of the period. A pair of free throws from the guard at the 8:46 mark stretched the Blue & Gold’s lead to 72-57.

However, the comfortable lead quickly shrunk to five, 72-67, as Indiana went cold and the Magic muscled their way to the free-throw line. Six points of the 10-0 Orlando surge came from the charity stripe, including three from Indiana native Gary Harris. McDermott’s cutting layup at the 4:32 mark finally stopped the run and pushed the Pacers’ lead back to seven.

But, Orlando inched its way even closer to the lead as Cole Anthony’s layup banked in with 2:43 to go. The rookie was recently sidelined for over 20 games after fracturing a rib earlier this year. Later, Orlando’s other highly-touted rookie, Chuma Okeke, knocked in a layup to cut the Pacers’ lead to 78-76 with 59.0 left.

However, the bench once again help Indiana end on a high note. With 50.3 seconds showing, Goga Bitadze drilled a three from the top of the key. After Anthony recorded a pair of free throws on the other end, McConnell finished the period with a buzzer-beating, running floater in the paint. The crafty shot pushed Indiana’s lead to 83-78 heading into the fourth.

Aaron Holiday and McDermott teamed up to stretch the Blue & Gold’s lead to 92-82 over the first 2:09 of the fourth. Holiday got things started with a three from the right win. After Ross hit 2-of-3 from the stripe, McDermott notched four of a 6-0 Indiana spree, including a tough right-handed layup from underneath the backboard.

From there, the Pacers appeared to pull away once more. The squad extended the lead to 99-84 behind McConnell’s signature turnaround jumper and a pair of free throws from Lamb. But, six quick Magic points trimmed the lead back to single digits with 6:18 remaining.

However, the Blue & Gold seemed to right the ship, keeping the hosts at bay over the next several minutes. Four straight for LeVert helped keep a 106-96 lead and pushed him into double figures on the night. But, Orlando threatened once more.

After a pair of Sabonis free throws gave Indiana a 108-98 lead, the Magic scored six straight, including two high-flying dunks from Ross, to cut the lead to 108-104 with 54.1 seconds remaining. After both sides came up empty, Brogdon connected on 1-of-2 free throws at the 17.3 second mark to extend the lead to five. With Orlando forced to foul, McConnell polished off the bench’s solid night. The underestimated guard iced the game at the line with two perfect free throws. Indiana travels to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies on Sunday.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all upcoming Pacers home games from March 17 – April 21 are now on sale. Tickets for the final nine regular season home games will go on sale on Monday, April 19. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »

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