Magic Musings: Cold second half dooms Orlando against Pacers

BY foxsports • February 3, 2014

After shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first half against the Indiana Pacers, the Orlando Magic went colder than the weather outside Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Magic tied a season low for fewest points in a half as they mustered only 29 points over the final two quarters in falling 98-79 to the Pacers, who survived a shooting drought of their own to pull away.

Although they trailed 59-50 at halftime, the Magic got 18 points from Arron Afflalo -- including four 3-point field goals -- in trimming what was once a 16-point deficit. With the Pacers making only two of 19 shots during one stretch, the Magic got to within two points of the lead at 60-58.

But the Pacers began to snap out of their offensive funk before the end of quarter and began the final 12 minutes by taking advantage of a Magic lineup consisting of five reserves -- Andrew Nicholson, Maurice Harkless, Kyle O'Quinn, E'Twaun Moore and Doron Lamb.

Glen Davis was held scoreless until more than midway through the third quarter. And after opening the quarter by hitting a jump shot, Afflalo went 0 of 6 the rest of the way. The Magic were a collective 11 of 39 in the second half.

Nikola Vucevic finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Rookie Victor Oladipo, who starred for Indiana University a year ago, tied his career high in assists with 11 but made only two of his 11 shots.

The Pacers improved to 23-2 at home while the Magic fell to 3-23 in their last road game before the All-Star break.

THE TURNING POINT

After scoring only nine points in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter, the Pacers went on a 7-0 run over the final 1:19 and began the fourth quarter outscoring the Magic 11-1 to increase their lead to 22.

THE DIFFERENCE MAKER

Lance Stephenson -- who, like Afflalo, was not chosen as an Eastern Conference reserve last week -- bounced back in the second half to finish with 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.

STAT OF THE GAME

The Pacers set a franchise record with 18 blocked shots in their first meeting against the Magic but had only two through three quarters, including none from center Roy Hibbert. The Magic, who rank near the bottom of the NBA in that category, had three.

WHAT'S NEXT

Wednesday night vs. Detroit, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).

You can follow Ken Hornack on Twitter @HornackFSFla or email him at khornack32176@gmail.com.


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