Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) is defended by Indiana Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin (00) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Kevin Kolczynski)

Magic Hold Off Pacers in 126-120 Victory

The Orlando Magic defeated the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night 126-120. All five Magic starters scored in double figures as they won their third straight home game. This win improves the Magic to 19-29 on the season and 13-12 in the Amway Center.

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Scoring Leaders

Last year’s number one overall draft pick Paolo Banchero led the scoring effort for Orlando with 23 points. He also made an impact on the defensive end with two steals and one block. He was aggressive all night as he shot 10 times from the charity stripe, making nine of them.

Shooting guard Gary Harris also played a big role in the Magic’s winning effort Wednesday. He made all six of his attempts from three-point range and finished the game with 22 points. Big man Wendell Carter Jr. added a double-double for the Magic. He finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and he also added two blocks.

For Indiana, Bennedict Mathurin came off the bench and led the Pacers in scoring with 26 points. Myles Turner was a monster in the paint as he finished with 22 points and 13 boards.

Buddy Hield made six threes in the game, including all of his first five, and scored 21 points in the losing effort.

Magic’s Hot Start

Orlando jumped out to a big lead right from tip-off. They scored the first 11 points of the game for either team.

With just over five minutes left in the first quarter, Markelle Fultz brought the crowd to its feet with a powerful one-handed slam over Turner to extend the lead to 12.

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Banchero had it going early as he scored 13 of his 23 points in the first quarter. As a team, the Magic shot an outstanding 64% from the field in the first which helped them build a 17-point lead going into the second.

Orlando came close to matching its franchise record for most points in a first quarter of 50 as they outscored the Pacers 46-29.

Orlando Close it Out

Hield made three of his six threes in the second quarter as Indiana trailed by just five at halftime, 73-68.

The Magic opened up their lead again in the third quarter as they held the Pacers to just 23 points.

With 1.9 seconds left in the third quarter, Jalen Suggs found Franz Wagner at the rim off an inbound pass from the other side of the court. Wagner put it in as the buzzer sounded to put the Magic up 102-91 at the end of three.

Orlando extended their lead back to 17 early in the fourth quarter. The Pacers mounted a comeback late as they pulled to within four points in the final minute of the game.

This comeback was not enough, however, as the Magic held on to win by a final score of 126-120.

Magic Back in Action

Orlando will be back on the court Friday night as they head to Miami to face the Heat. This will be the first of four matchups between the two teams this season.

About Hugh Green

Hugh is a third year student majoring in Journalism: Sports and Media at the University of Florida.

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