The Orlando Magic were once a promising 8-4 this season, looking like a team that was ready to make the next step under head coach Frank Vogel. However, those days now seem like a distant memory as the team has been on a downward spiral ever since. The Magic lost their ninth game in a row last night to the Indiana Pacers 121-109. The team is being outscored by an average margin of 15 points during this skid.
Magic Keep it Close For Most of the Game
Despite what the score says, the game was actually closer than it indicated as the Magic constantly gave the Pacers fits. There were 11 lead changes during the game and the Pacers did not really pull away until the fourth quarter where they outscored the Magic 36-25. Victor Oladipo led the way for Indiana with 26 points on 79 percent shooting, six rebounds and five assists. In addition, he was a defensive menace with two steals and four blocks.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) November 28, 2017
Bench Proves to Be the Difference
The Magic’s starters actually performed better than the Pacers’ starters. Every starter for Orlando scored in double figures, combining for 80 points on 45 percent shooting. Jonathan Simmons led the way with 21 points on 43 percent shooting. Nikola Vucevic had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds while Aaron Gordon continued his bid for Most Improved Player with 16 points on 50 percent shooting, six rebounds and four blocks. The Pacers had two starters score below 10 points. Thaddeus Young had a game to forget with two points on 1-9 shooting while Darren Collison had seven points on 2-7 shooting.
However, where the Pacers really shined was in their bench play. Orlando’s bench combined for 29 points on 39 percent shooting, nine rebounds and seven assists. Indiana’s bench combined for 46 points on 65 percent shooting, 23 rebounds and 13 assists. Domantas Sabonis and Lance Stephenson had nearly identical stats. Sabonis scored 19 points and 71 percent shooting, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists. Stephenson scored 18 points on 64 percent shooting and had the same number of rebounds and assists. With the win, the Pacers moved to 12-9 and currently sit at sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Stephenson now has 16 pts, 8 reb, 5ast. Think he relishes the chance to play in Indy?
At home: 11ppg 47%FG
On road: 4ppg 36%FG
— Pat Boylan (@PatBoylanPacers) November 28, 2017
The Magic will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night at 7 while the Pacers will take on the Houston Rockets Wednesday night at 8.