National Basketball Association
Pacers-Magic Preview
National Basketball Association

Pacers-Magic Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 7:55 p.m. ET

Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova gave promising signs they could aid Orlando's playoff push in their debuts for the Magic.

The two veterans would appear to have a more difficult task Sunday night when they try to help end Orlando's lengthy skid against the Indiana Pacers.

Jennings and Ilyasova, acquired from Detroit on Tuesday for Tobias Harris, combined for 34 points in 47-plus minutes off the bench in a 110-104 overtime victory against Dallas on Friday.

Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and 12 rebounds while Victor Oladipo had a career-best 14 boards to go with his 17 points.


"It's definitely good to come here and get the first win. We've got a tough one against Indiana, who has been playing really well," said Jennings, who averaged 6.8 points in 23 games for the Pistons. "We've got to be consistent. That's the main thing, being consistent in the last 30 games."

Orlando, 3 1/2 games out of the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot, has won three of four since its 2-15 start to 2016, with two of those victories coming in overtime.

The Magic (24-29) will next face a team that's beaten them six straight times and in 10 of the last 11 meetings. The Pacers (29-25) have earned two of those victories this season, including a 95-86 win in Orlando in the last matchup Jan. 6.

The Magic have averaged 85.6 points while shooting 39.9 percent in the past 11 meetings - their worst totals against any opponent in that span - and have committed 39 turnovers in this season's two losses.

"They've been really physical with us. They've slapped balls out of hands in the paint, and we haven't reacted that well," Orlando coach Scott Skiles said. "(On Friday night), as the game got more physical, we actually rose to that challenge. ... We need a game where we respond to (Indiana's physicality)."

Like the Magic, Indiana has won three of four and was victorious in its return from the All-Star break Friday, 101-98 in Oklahoma City. The Pacers rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final 2 1/2 minutes, and Monta Ellis made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 18.8 seconds to go.

Ellis finished with 27 points, one more than in his final three games before the break combined. Ian Mahinmi tied a career high with 19 points and had 11 rebounds.

"Hopefully, this is a springboard victory," coach Frank Vogel said. "What we talked about before the game is an opportunity to get the best win of the year, to have a momentum-building victory to start the final 29 games, this stretch run."

Indiana has won two of three on the road after losing five of its previous six, and the Pacers will try to add their fourth consecutive win in Orlando, which would match their longest streak there.

The Magic are 3-2 at home since a season-worst five-game skid, which began with the loss to Indiana. Vucevic will seek to keep his team heading in the right direction while improving on his 22.8-point average in the past four games.

He's totaled 44 points while shooting 61.3 percent in the past two home matchups with Indiana.

Ellis has 44 points and 20 assists while shooting 51.5 percent in his last two games in Orlando.


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