Pacers cruise past Magic for 115-86 win
Posted at: 03/08/2013 8:09 PM
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
(AP) ORLANDO, Fla. - Paul George had 25 points and Tyler Hansbrough added 18 and the Indiana Pacers used a big first half to roll past the Orlando Magic 115-86 on Friday.
Indiana scored 30 points off 21 Orlando turnovers and also connected on 11 3-pointers in the victory.
The offensive eruption came after a late-game offensive meltdown against Boston on Wednesday night that ended in a last-second loss.
The Pacers ended a three-game regular-season losing streak to the Magic. It was also their second straight game without forward Danny Granger, who is expected to miss a week resting a sore left knee.
Arron Afflalo led Orlando with 19 points.
The Magic have lost five of their past six and haven’t posted a home win since Feb. 10.
Indiana struggled offensively in its 11-point loss in Orlando in January, but had no repeat issues on Friday night as it built a 26-point lead early in the second half.
The biggest improvement came at the 3-point line, where they connected on 11 of 19 attempts.
The Magic attempted to shake up their lineup Friday by starting Tobias Harris at power forward in place of rookie Andrew Nicholson.
Harris, in his second year out of Tennessee, made his first start in a Magic uniform since coming over from Milwaukee in a trade deadline deal.
He came in averaging nearly 17 points in his first seven games, but struggled against the Pacers’ David West, who enticed him into quick fouls at the beginning of each half. Harris finished with just seven points in 21 minutes.
The Pacers took advantage of poor Magic shooting and miscues to build a 53-38 halftime lead.
Notes: It was the Pacers’ first regular-season victory in Orlando since December 2007. ... Orlando is 9-24 at home. ... The addition of Harris marked the Magic’s 20th different starting unit they’ve used this season. ... Orlando celebrated Noche Latina, in appreciation of its Hispanic fan base, by wearing "El Magic" jerseys for the first of three games this season. The Magic will also wear the jerseys in their March 22 home game against Oklahoma City and the March 25 matchup with Miami.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)