The Magic staged a 19-point fourth quarter rally to send game 4 of their first round series against the Indiana Pacers into overtime, but Glen Davis’s last-second shot fell short, giving the Pacers a 101-99 victory and a commanding three games to one advantage.
Jason Richardson had 25 points while Glen Davis had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Magic. David West was the best player on the court, finishing with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
After a competitive first half, the Magic again were dominated in third quarter. Although, it didn’t go as bad as it did in game 3, the Magic were still outscored 27-17 and at one point in the game, went nine minutes without a field goal. The Pacers continued their domination, building an 82-63 lead with just 7:56. That’s when they game turned. The Magic pounded the Pacers with the pick-and-roll and the Pacers really didn’t have any answer. Glen Davis kept coming free and at one point, had four consecutive plays where he finished with a layup or a dunk. Even Jason Richardson, who has struggled mightily since his two big three-pointers in game 1, get to the basket for easy layups. Trailing by just three with just 38 seconds left, J.J. Redick pumped faked Paul George and stepped over, hitting a three-pointer to tie the game. After forcing Indiana into a shot clock violation, Jameer Nelson got into the lane and made a great move on George Hill to get open. However, Nelson faded away and came up short.
“He got separation, but he didn’t get his legs under him,” said Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy when asked about the last shot.
In over time, the Pacers scored the first six points, before the Magic tied the score on a Jason Richardson three-pointer and a three-point play by Jameer Nelson. George Hill and Glen Davis each scored on the next four possessions before Indiana’s final play. George Hill was well-defended by Nelson, but was fouled when he got stuck in the lane. He hit both free throws. The Magic tried to run screens for either Richardson or Redick, but couldn’t get the ball in and called timeout. The Magic then posted up Davis, but his shot fell short.
“It’s an eight foot shot for the guy who was our leading scorer in the game against a smaller guy,” Van Gundy explained. “I thought it was a pretty good shot.”
- Glen Davis was very good again and was probably the biggest reason for the Magic comeback – Indiana just continuously lost him as he rolled to the basket. Davis scored his 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting and pulled down 11 rebounds. After the game, Davis was a little down, but liked the effort, saying “If we played like that, we’d be up by now.”
- The Magic finally got off to a good start, taking an early 16-10 lead. Of course, that was quickly erased by 10-0 Pacers run.
- Jameer Nelson scored 12 points on just 4-of-15 shooting, but dished out 11 assists. J.J. Redick had 10 points and 7 assists – despite some shooting problems, the Magic will probably take numbers like that.
- Jason Richardson exploded for 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting. He was just 4-of-12 from beyond the arc, but made a better effort to get to the basket, going 5-of-6 from two-point range.
- Orlando kept the Pacers from running, holding them to 6 fast break points.
- Orlando did still lose the rebounding battle 49-42, but certainly held their own better than they did in the prior games.
- Despite their big run, the Magic still struggled on offense. They went just 9-of-29 from beyond the arc, shot 40.0% from the field and posted an effective field goal percentage 45.3%. The free throw line is where they really did their damage. The Magic were in the bonus with the first three minutes of the second quarter and that kept them in the game. They went 14-of-16 in the quarter and finished 22-of-28 for the game.
Next Up: Game 5 is Tuesday at 7:30 pm EST.
Final Thought: The Magic gave a great effort and you can’t question that, but they’re still a game away from elimination.
(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)