After a stunning last-second victory over the Western Conference’s top team, the Orlando Magic take aim at upsetting the leaders in the East.
Looking to extend their season-high home winning streak to five games Sunday night, the Magic try to avoid losing to the surging Indiana Pacers for the second time in seven days.
Tobias Harris scored a team-high 18 points and threw down a dunk off a fast-break pass at the buzzer to give Orlando (15-37) an astonishing 103-102 home win over Oklahoma City on Friday. It was the second straight victory and third in five games for the Magic, who own the league’s second-worst record.
"For the guys to continue to fight and press forward, I’m happy for them," Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said.
The Magic overcame a 50.7-percent shooting effort from the Thunder by forcing 16 turnovers, outscoring them 52-30 in the paint and holding the visitors to 37 second-half points to rally from 17 down.
"’This is our court! This is our court!’" rookie Victor Oladipo shouted after the wild finish.
While Orlando has averaged 86.8 points and shot 40.2 percent during a 12-game road skid, it’s scoring 110.5 per contest on 49.2 percent shooting during a four-game home winning streak. The Magic haven’t won five straight at home since an eight-game run in 2010-11.
Orlando, however, has averaged 81.3 points and shot 37.3 percent while dropping four in a row overall to NBA-leading Indiana (39-10). The last three meetings came in Indianapolis, where the Pacers beat the Magic 98-79 on Monday.
Arron Afflalo scored 20 and Nikola Vucevic added 16 with 13 rebounds in that contest for Orlando, which was held to its fewest points of the season and outrebounded 52-38 for the game.
Indiana’s David West and George Hill combined for only 10 points in that contest, but the pair totaled 67 during Friday’s 118-113 overtime home victory over Portland. Hill, whose 3-pointer with 8 seconds left forced overtime, finished with a career-high 37 points to go with nine rebounds and eight assists as the Pacers won their fourth in a row.
"It was imperative that we came out of this game feeling good about how we played and feeling good about our group," said West, who grabbed 10 rebounds.
"This is a good win for us and we talk about finishing strong before the All-Star break," he added.
The Pacers prevailed Friday without assist leader and second-leading scorer and rebounder Lance Stephenson, who could miss a second straight contest with a sore back. Danny Granger, who scored a season-high 16 against the Magic on Monday, could make his second consecutive start in place of Stephenson.
Recently acquired center Andrew Bynum will not play for the Pacers, but did join the team Friday for the first time since they signed him last week. The underachieving big man averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 24 games this season for Cleveland before he was suspended indefinitely by the team in December.
"We’ll come back from the All-Star break and see how practices go over the next week or two after that before we decide if he’s ready," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said.