Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/24

Game 1: Monday, November 24th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 17th
Game 3: Tuesday, January 6th
Game 4: Friday, March 26th

Magic 94

(5-21, 4-9 away)

Pacers 90

(19-7, 10-3 home)

    Coverage: FSMW

    7:00 PM ET, December 17, 2003

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 25 20 23 2694
    IND 21 18 24 2790

    Top Performers

    Orl: T. McGrady 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 11 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Ind: J. O'Neal 24 Pts, 17 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 5 Blk

    T-Mac, Gooden, Bogans in double figures

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Orlando Magic had a horrendous start to the season, including a 19-game losing streak that got their coach fired.

    None of that mattered Wednesday night against the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers.

    Rod Strickland's jump shot with 14.4 seconds left lifted the Magic to a 94-90 win over the cold-shooting Pacers.

    "This was a tremendous win and a building block for our team," said Orlando coach Johnny Davis, who replaced the fired Doc Rivers on Nov. 17. "We were able to come in and beat a quality team like Indiana on the road."

    The Pacers had plenty of chances, but Al Harrington missed their last one -- a wide-open jumper from the left wing with seven seconds remaining that would have given Indiana the lead.

    "I'd run that play again," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "Al's made some big shots for this team and will make some big shots."

    Keith Bogans grabbed the loose ball, was fouled and made one free throw. Drew Gooden slipped into the lane to get the rebound of Bogans' missed second free throw and was fouled. He made two free throws with 4.6 seconds left to ice the game.

    Tracy McGrady scored 21 points and had 11 assists to lead five Orlando players in double figures. It was the fourth win in the last six games for the Magic, who started the season 1-19.

    "That was a total team victory for us," Davis said. "We attacked the entire night."

    On this night, it was the Magic and not the Pacers, who displayed the balanced attack. McGrady, the second-leading scorer in the NBA, was forced to look for teammates on many occasions thanks to pesky defense from Ron Artest.

    His teammates came through. Juwan Howard had 19 points and seven rebounds, Gooden had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Bogans had 15 and 12 for the Magic.

    "They executed, they made plays the entire game," Carlisle said. "They were able to make one more play than we could make."

    Jermaine O'Neal had 24 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks for the Pacers, but did most of his damage in the first half, while Indiana struggled offensively.

    In the opening half, the Pacers looked like the team who entered 4-21, not the top team in the East. Indiana shot just 29 percent to fall behind 45-39.

    O'Neal kept them in the game, dominating inside with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

    He didn't get as many touches in the second half, however, as the Pacers tried to mount a comeback.

    The Magic simply had an answer for every run the Pacers threw at them.

    "We learned a lot from losing like we did," Bogans said. "This is a big win."

    When Artest stole the ball and dunked in the third quarter, McGrady responded with a 3-pointer and then a dunk to push the lead back to 66-55.

    It was more of the same in the fourth period. When Harrington got a tip-in to bring Indiana within three, McGrady responded with a 3-pointer.

    Austin Croshere made a 3-pointer from the corner that tied the game at 83, then Strickland hit a 3-pointer and Bogans a long jumper to put Orlando back in front 88-83.

    "We pecked away and pecked away all night and we almost won," Pacers guard Kenny Anderson said. "But almost isn't good enough."

    Bogans, who came into the game shooting 30 percent from the field and was 1-of-18 from 3-point range, was 6-for-6, including a big 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter that gave Orlando a six-point lead.

    "My teammates told me to keep my head up and my opportunity will come," Bogans said. "Tonight it did. My teammates have confidence in me to make the big play."

    The Pacers took a 90-89 lead on a scoop shot from Artest, but Strickland responded with his jumper to quiet the crowd.

    Artest had 18 points and four steals for Indiana.

    Game Notes: O'Neal and McGrady are close friends. On Tuesday, O'Neal was asked what he could do to help stop the prolific scorer. "Take him out (to dinner) and get him full," he said, smiling. "You got to know what to do outside the gym." ... Magic guard Tyronn Lue missed his third straight game with a strained hip flexor. ... Carlisle was issued a technical foul for arguing with referee Derek Richardson late in the second quarter. ... Pacers G Reggie Miller scored three points, leaving him six shy of Charles Barkley for 14th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Miller has scored 23,752 points.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 94 90
    FGM-FGA 38-78 (.487) 33-91 (.363)
    3PM-3PA 7-15 (.467) 6-26 (.231)
    FTM-FTA 11-18 (.611) 18-22 (.818)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-50 23-47
    Assists 26 22
    Turnovers 14 7
    Steals 3 8
    Blocks 6 9
    Fast Break Points 8 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 17 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 21
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 11
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Jermaine O'Neal O'Neal
    Points: 24
    Reb: 17
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 5