Pacers 123, Magic 102: Shorthanded Magic fight in Indiana

A narrow loss to the Pacers on Saturday was followed by a crushing loss for the Magic on Monday.

Indiana finished the two-game set with a sweep, managing to overcome some outside shooting battles and turnover issues to inflict a 123-102 loss on an undermanned Orlando team.

The Magic were held early in the game after 3:30 with a single free throw until Mo connected Bamba with a pair of threes to draw Orlando to 9-7.

Bennedict Mathurin – the No. 6 draft pick in 2022, who came into play averaging 19.1 points per game, second most to Paolo Banchero – then provided a quick spark off the bench. He hit the first three he took after the Pacers missed their first five tries and completed a three-point game to give the Pacers a 21-14 lead. The Magic responded with a 12-2 run that was capped with threes from Jalen Suggs and Gary Harris to open a 26-23 lead. The Magic led one to two, but that was when the Pacers went only 1-for-11 from three and committed seven turnovers in the quarter.

The Pacers missed 13 of their first 14 shots from deep until the threes finally started falling later in the second quarter. TJ McConnell, Tyrese Haliburton and Oshae Brissett each connected from distance during a stretch in which a three-point lead grew to 10 at 52-42 with 2:23 remaining at the half.

The Pacers finished the half 4-21-3 with 12 turnovers but shot 77 percent from the arc (17-22) to carry a 54-45 lead into the break. Haliburton had nine points and nine assists at halftime. Franz Wagner had 14 points and Harris added nine to lead the Magic, who shot 38 percent from the field at halftime.

The Pacers opened the third with a 7-2 run and extended their lead to 61-47. Suggs responded with a pull-up jumper followed by a transition layup to spark an 8-0 run against Orlando to pull within 61-55. The Pacers responded with a 7-0 run and took a 68-55 lead. Indiana continued to hit at will in the paint, mixing in the occasional three, with Mathurin connecting for a 71-66 advantage. The Pacers led into the fourth by 19 and soon rose as high as 25.

Haliburton had 18 points and 14 assists in the win. Mathurin had a game-high 22 points in 6-for-13 shooting. The rookie led a strong performance from the Pacers bench, who combined for 71 points. McConnell added 19 points and shot 7-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-4-of-three, and Brissett finished on 18, going 4-of-7-of-three. That helped ease the three-point struggles of the Indiana starting unit, who shot 4-for-28 from three together. Overall, the Pacers shot 50 percent from the field despite only going 13 of 46 from deep. They also committed 21 turnovers.

Wagner had 20 points and six rebounds to lead Orlando, who shot 42.4 percent from the field and walked 11 of 35 of three (31.4 percent). Harris added 18 points from the bench and Bamba finished with 15.

The Magic, playing without Wendell Carter Jr. and the usual absences, lost Chuma Okeke in the second quarter after being eliminated with knee pain. Suggs, who had 12 points in 5-for-13 shooting, also suffered from an ankle problem.

The team will have a few days off on Thanksgiving to recover before hosting the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.