The Indiana Pacers are advancing to the second round in the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2005, as they removed any remaining Magic from the franchise that makes its home in Orlando, with a 105-87 thrashing Tuesday night at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The victory was the fourth straight for the Pacers after dropping the opening game of the match-up at home 81-77. Indiana took control of this contest early on, as they had a nine-point lead at the conclusion of the opening period and shot 52.4% (43-82) as well as 52.9% (9-17) from outside the arc for the night.
Danny Granger led the way for Indiana with 25 points while Darren Collison came off the bench with 19 points in the victory. Jameer Nelson was the game’s leading scorer with 27 points for Orlando while Glen Davis finished off the Post Season with yet another strong performance as he dropped 15 points in the game.
Indiana came out of the gates in the opening period showing that they were going to be all business in this contest. Their offense was clicking on all cylinders while the Magic’s point production kept stalling throughout the period. The Pacers would hold a 15-point advantage with 1:20 left, when Orlando finished the quarter with a 6-0 run; to get back in the game with the score 28-19 at the end of the period.
Indiana would once again go up by double-digits in the second and the Magic would respond as Davis connected on an outside jumper with 33 seconds in the period to cut the home team’s advantage to 48-47. Pacers center Roy Hibbert knocked down a basket with nine seconds to play and the Pacers held a 50-47 edge at the half.
Orlando would have their best 12 minutes of action in the game during the third as Nelson buried three treys in the last 3:08 of the period. The final three-point shot came from 26 feet out with 11 seconds to play and the Magic would hold the upper-hand with the score 71-69 at the end of the quarter.
The two opponents traded the lead between them to open the final period, but Darren Collison scoring the Pacers next seven points would put his team on top 80-75 with 8:51 to play. Nelson had a layup with 7:48 left in the contest which cut the Pacers lead to 83-80. The Magic would not score a point until more than three minutes later as Ryan Anderson knocked down a 24-foot trey with 4:47 on the clock and Indiana on top 91-83. Orlando never could regroup and the Pacers are heading to the second round.
Indiana will play the winner of the series between Miami and New York with the Heat currently leading that match-up 3-1.