The Orlando Magic began their six-game road trip with a quick stop in Indiana. Looking to get some momentum going before heading out west, things didn’t go as planned, as the Magic were throttled by David West in his return, losing 98-83 on the road.
As you would expect, neither team put on a shooting clinic to start the game. Orlando went 8-of-21 in the opening quarter and the Pacers went 10-of-29. However, the Pacers were having success in the paint, scoring 16 of their 26 first quarter points in the restricted area.
Orlando got a little steam going in the second period. The team went back to their bread and butter, tallying six assists on eight field goals. Ben Gordon, off the bench, got Orlando going by knocking down all three of his shot attempts, along with two free-throws to score 10 in the quarter. The Magic also got the upper hand on the glass against the Pacers, but that wouldn’t last long.
An old, recurring theme for Magic reared its ugly head again. Third quarters have been a big problem for the Magic, and tonight wasn’t any different. The team looked sluggish, disinterested and played flat-out uninspired. The Pacers took advantage, pushing their lead up to as much as 13 before the Magic made one more attempt to get back into the game. With David West leading the way for the Pacers, the team stepped up defensively and scored just enough to stave off the Magic, who would go on to drop their fourth straight game.
Rodney Stuckey led the Pacers with 24 points. David West, who made his debut 15 games into the season, had 18 points, six rebounds, and notched four assists. Solomon Hill had 11, and Lavoy Allen finished with 10 points to go along with 14 rebounds.
Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 16 points and seven rebounds. Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris followed suit with 14 apiece. Ben Gordon scored 12 off the bench. The Magic were dominated on the glass and in the paint. The team was out rebounded 52 to 32, and out scored 48 to 28 in the paint.
The Magic set a course out west to face the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.
Featured image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.