Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/20

Game 1: Saturday, November 20th
Game 2: Saturday, January 15th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 22nd
Game 4: Monday, April 18th

Pacers 88

(43-38, 19-22 away)

Magic 92

(36-45, 24-16 home)

7:00 PM ET, April 18, 2005

Amway Arena, Orlando, FL

1 2 3 4 T
IND 24 20 27 1788
ORL 28 23 24 1792

Top Performers

Ind: F. Jones 19 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Orl: S. Francis 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

Indiana still in No. 6 spot with one game left

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Indiana Pacers are losing the tag as a team nobody wants to face in the playoffs.

Indiana lost its third straight game, a 92-88 loss to Orlando on Monday night that ended the Magic's seven-game losing streak and put the Pacers in danger of falling to seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

If Indiana loses its final game of the season at home against Chicago and Philadelphia beats Atlanta, the 76ers would move ahead of the Pacers and claim the No. 6 seed.

"We've got to stop the bleeding," said Pacers guard Reggie Miller, who scored 13 points but was only 1-for-6 on 3-pointers. "We've got a lot to play for. This should have been a playoff-type atmosphere for us, but they had the energy and we didn't match it."

Jermaine O'Neal had 16 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes for the Pacers but was dissatisfied with his performance. O'Neal is still favoring the injured shoulder that caused him to miss 22 games.

"If I'm going to be out there, I have to concentrate on the task at hand and not worry about the shoulder," O'Neal said. "It's not like it's going to get better during the playoffs. I've just got to concentrate on doing a better job."

The Magic, who had hopes of being in the playoff mix before the seven-game losing streak, were thankful for some positive news at the end of a frustrating season.

"We felt we were a better team than our record and it really shows the spirit and camaraderie that these guys have to step up and play that hard in a game like this," Magic coach Chris Jent said.

"We don't want to leave on a bad note," said guard Steve Francis, who scored 24 points, including a big jumper with 10 seconds to play. "Despite not making the playoffs, I think the players and organization wanted to go out with a victory."

DeShawn Stevenson added 18 points and rookie Dwight Howard had 17 points and nine rebounds for Orlando.

Indiana got 19 points from reserve point guard Fred Jones.

Orlando led most of the game thanks to 48 percent shooting, but needed Francis' 20-footer from the top of the key and Tony Battie's two free throws with 8 seconds left to hold off Indiana.

The Pacers trailed by 11 points midway through the third quarter when they went outside to get back in the game, hitting five 3-pointers at the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth. James Jones had three, including the one that drew the Pacers within 83-81 with 7:53 left in the game.

Fred Jones' jumper from just inside the arc gave Indiana an 84-83 lead with 3:55 to play. That was the Pacers' first and only lead since early in the game.

Battie and Jameer Nelson hit consecutive jumpers to give Orlando an 87-84 lead.

The Magic shot 56 percent from the field in taking a 51-44 halftime lead behind 16 points from Francis and 11 from Howard.

Game notes

Pacers PG Anthony Johnson was suspended for one game by the NBA on Monday for throwing a punch at Miami's Alonzo Mourning on Sunday. ... The Magic went 3-1 against Indiana this season. ... Francis was back in the lineup after missing one game with a bad back. ... Indiana is 12-6 this season against teams in the Southeast Division, losing its last three against Washington, Miami and Orlando. ... The last five Magic opponents have shot 50.5 percent (212-of-419) from the field. ... Battie nearly had his first double-double of the season with 12 points and nine rebounds.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 88 92
FGM-FGA 31-75 (.413) 34-71 (.479)
3PM-3PA 7-23 (.304) 5-11 (.455)
FTM-FTA 19-25 (.760) 19-27 (.704)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-41 9-39
Assists 15 16
Turnovers 14 13
Steals 6 7
Blocks 3 4
Fast Break Points 7 14
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 23 (2/0)
Largest Lead 5 11

Top Performers

Fred Jones Jones
Points: 19
Reb: 3
Ast: 3
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
Steve Francis Francis
Points: 24
Reb: 6
Ast: 6
Stl: 2
Blk: 0