Finally, the Indiana Pacers showed their NBA-leading magic. Of course, the visiting Orlando Magic had something to do with that. The combination of a strong Pacers finish and the ineptness of the league's second-worst team combined to send the Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd home happy and coach Frank Vogel's team off to Atlanta smiling. Indiana 98, Orlando 79. The Pacers (37-10) were crisp with their movement and more careful with their passing, and the NBA's No. 1 defense did the rest. Indiana committed only nine turnovers and held the Magic to 29 second-half points. "We didn't have a great shooting night," Vogel said, "but I thought the ball movement and the player movement was back to where we want it to be. "And we got a good effort from our bench." The latter was especially key as the Pacers face the Hawks on the second night of a key back-to-back. Indiana lost there Jan. 8 in a similar scenario and haven't won in Atlanta since 2006, a span of 12 games. This time they'll play with mostly rested starters. Only Lance Stephenson played more than 27 minutes Monday because the Pacers were deeper, stronger and better than the Magic (13-37 overall, a league-worst 3-23 on the road, losers of 17 of the past 20). Danny Granger (16 points), C.J. Watson (12) and Luis Scola (10) came off the bench to put the hurt on coach Jacque Vaughn's team. The movement Vogel has been begging for was never more evident than on a play with 5 minutes left. Stephenson worked the ball to Scola, who with a drive to the lane knifed a one-handed, no-look bounce pass to a cutting Watson for a reverse layup.
Pacers improve efficiency in win
Indianapolis Star | Feb 4