Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 12/7

Game 1: Friday, December 7th
Game 2: Saturday, February 2nd
Game 3: Saturday, March 15th

Pacers 111

(25-41, 12-23 away)

Magic 122

(44-24, 21-12 home)

    Coverage: FSMW

    7:00 PM ET, March 15, 2008

    Amway Arena, Orlando, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 18 35 27 31111
    ORL 28 33 30 31122

    Top Performers

    Ind: D. Granger 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

    Orl: H. Turkoglu 27 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast

    Magic have won seven of eight games to clinch playoff bid

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- It was appropriate, if not unlikely, that the Orlando Magic shooting guards would be a key component in the team's best shooting night of the season.

    Maurice Evans and Keith Bogans were a combined 11-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-6 on 3-pointers in the Magic's 122-111 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.

    Evans scored a season-high 19 points and Bogans hit all three of his 3-point attempts on his way to 11 points as Orlando shot a season-best 63.6 percent from the field. The win clinched a playoff spot for the Magic, who currently are the No. 3 seed in the East.

    "I know I've been helping us all season at the defensive end, but it really felt good to contribute something at the other end of the court," said Evans, who had 17 points in the third quarter.

    Said Rashard Lewis, who scored 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting: "Mo is one of those guys you don't hear much about because he doesn't get a lot of stats, but he really came up big for us tonight."

    Orlando's usual stars, Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu, also had great shooting nights, but were part of a turnover problem that nearly undid what their shooting built. Turkoglu had 27 points, but four turnovers. Howard had 18 points and 12 rebounds, but seven turnovers.

    Turkoglu scored nine points in the last five minutes, when Orlando was trying to withstand one more Indiana rally. Howard was in foul trouble the whole fourth quarter, but didn't get his sixth until there were 43 seconds left and the Magic had an eight-point lead.

    "I wouldn't say it was a great offensive night because we handled the ball very poorly, but we were able to survive because we shot the ball so well," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.

    Indiana was nearly as potent at the offensive end, shooting 50 percent with only 13 turnovers. Danny Granger had 27 points, Mike Dunleavy 16 and Troy Murphy 15 for the Pacers, who put six players in double figures.

    However, the Pacers dug themselves an 18-point hole in the first half and never could get out of it. They cut the deficit to 93-91 on a 3-pointer by Murphy with 9:17 left in the game, but couldn't get any closer the rest of the way.

    "We competed our butts off in the second half," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "When we go small, we have the ability to put up a lot of points very quickly. We had two wide-open 3s to take the lead, but they didn't fall for us."

    The Magic led 106-102 when Howard returned to the game with five fouls. Orlando went on an 8-1 run, with Turkoglu making two driving layups, Lewis getting one and Howard scoring on a dunk. Indiana never got closer than six the rest of the game.

    The Magic shot 66.7 percent in the first half and led by as many as 18 with just under seven minutes left in the second period, but couldn't build the lead because of poor passing. Orlando committed 12 turnovers in the half, 10 of them among Howard, Turkoglu and Nelson.

    Indiana used the mistakes to slowly get back in the game, cutting a 48-30 deficit to 61-53 at halftime. Murphy had 11 points in the quarter and Granger eight for the Pacers, who stayed close by shooting 50 percent for the half.

    The Pacers outscored the Magic 11-2 to start the fourth quarter, cutting an 11-point deficit to 93-91 on a 3-pointer by Murphy with 9:08 left in the game. Orlando pushed the lead back to 101-93 after a three-point play by Lewis with 7:01 left, but Howard picked up his fifth foul on the next possession.

    Game notes

    The Pacers hit eight 3-pointers, giving them 586 for the season, which breaks the team record of 583. Howard was 0-for-5 at the free throw line. He's 6-for-21 in the last two games. Pacers PG Ronald Murray started for the first time this season. He had 11 points and two assists. Magic guard Bogans, 1-for-8 on 3-pointers in his previous three games, was 3-for-3 against Indiana.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 111 122
    FGM-FGA 41-82 (.500) 49-77 (.636)
    3PM-3PA 8-21 (.381) 12-20 (.600)
    FTM-FTA 21-32 (.656) 12-19 (.632)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-20 10-14
    Assists 25 30
    Turnovers 13 22
    Steals 13 9
    Blocks 3 4
    Fast Break Points 15 17
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 24 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 4 18

    Top Performers

    Danny Granger Granger
    Points: 24
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 1
    Hedo Turkoglu Turkoglu
    Points: 27
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0