Pacers Use Big Third Quarter To Down Magic, Even Series At One

Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

The Orlando Magic unraveled in the third quarter, allowing the Indiana Pacers to use a 25-5 run to take command of the game and even the series at 1, winning game 2 93-78.

Glen Davis led the Magic with 18 points and 10 rebounds while David West had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers.

Just like they did Saturday, the Pacers got off to another quick start, taking an 18-7 lead halfway through the first quarter. The Magic used the three-point shot to get back into the game, cutting the lead to 24-21 by the end of the opening quarter. The Magic kept the momentum going into the second quarter, taking their first lead, 28-26, on a Quentin Richardson three-pointer. Orlando pushed that lead to five with just 1:04 to go, but the Pacers were able to get the deficit down to two by halftime.

After pushing the lead back to five to start the second half, the Pacers went a 9-2 run, taking a 54-52 lead. The Pacers continued to display great energy in the quarter, pushing the lead to 70-55 at the 2:47 mark on the heels of a 21-3 run. All in all, the Pacers outscored the Magic 30-13 in the quarter, taking a 72-57 lead into the final period.

Glen Davis was the star for the Magic in the first half, scoring 14 points and grabbing 8 rebounds while mostly dominating the much bigger Roy Hibbert. However, in the second half, Glen Davis looked absolutely gassed and was very ineffective in the second half, scoring just 4 points and grabbing only 2 boards. Davis had plenty off good looks on midrange jumpers, which the Pacers don’t seem to have a problem giving him, but he just couldn’t knock them down. He was just 5-of-16 from the field.  To make matters worse, Ryan Anderson, who had 11 points and 8 rebounds, had 3 points and 0 rebounds in the second half and eventually fouled out. Anderson also had a lot of trouble guarding David West, who had a strong game. It makes you wonder why the Pacers don’t go to West even more.

The Pacers got out in transition, which is something they’ve talked about doing since this series was announced. They scored 22 points in transition and really made the Magic pay for their 10 third quarter turnovers. Orlando absolutely dominated the glass in the first half, grabbing 25 rebounds to Indiana’s 20, including 12 offensive rebounds, which gave the Magic plenty of opportunities for second chance points. In the second half, the Magic had just a single offensive rebound and were outrebounded 26-13. That allowed the Pacers to score 25 second half points, meaning over half of their points came on fast break or second-chance points – the Magic have defended pretty well for the most part.

  • Stan Van Gundy can’t wait so long to bring Jameer Nelson back into the game. I know he wants to give Nelson rest and Nelson wasn’t playing well (12 points on 4-of-13 shooting), but the offense is so stagnant with Chris Duhon in the game. By the time Nelson game back, the hole was too big to climb out of.
  • The Pacers were the aggressors in the second half, taking the ball to the basket much more often. That helped lead to fouls and ultimately made the Pacers a +9 at the stripe (Indiana was 25-of-28, Orlando was 16-of-19).
  • Jason Richardson was silent after a big game 1. He apparently injured his hand at the end of this first half. He played just 26 minutes and scored only 2 points on 1-of-5 shooting. Clearly, Orlando needs more.
  • The Magic tried to attack the Pacers and draw fouls, which in theory, sounds good, but the Magic have so many guys who struggle finishing, it’s tough to baskets – or calls.
  • George Hill, who hadn’t played particularly well, was excellent in the third quarter. He really took control of the game and helped spark the big Pacer run.
  • After the game, Stan Van Gundy was very upset with the overall effort, especially the effort of his starters in the third quarter – that clearly has to change.
  • Van Gundy also said he needed to find something on offense – does this mean using some of the young athletes like Ish Smith and Von Wafer? Probably not.

Next Up: Game 3 is Wednesday at 7:00 pm EST.

Final Thought: The Magic had their chances to stay in and possibly win this game, but couldn’t do it. However, they did still get a split in Indiana to steal home court.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)

Topics: 2012 NBA Playoffs, Danny Granger, Darren Collison, David West, Indiana Pacers, Paul George, Roy Hibbert

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