Gordon powers Magic to 121-116 win over Pacers

Local
Pacers_1554040679133.jpeg

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A perennial lottery team in recent years, the Orlando Magic enter the final days of the season believing they are on the verge of returning to the postseason.

Aaron Gordon had 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists Saturday night, and the Magic racked up a season-high 37 assists in a 121-116 win over the Indiana Pacers to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

“We’ve got a lot of talent,” Gordon said. “We have faith in ourselves. That’s the only thing you need. Obviously you want your coaching staff and fan base behind you, but when you have faith in yourself, that’s all you need.”

Coming off a blowout loss at Detroit that snapped a six-game win streak, Orlando got back on track with a relentless attack. The Magic shot 51 percent from the field and finished with only seven turnovers.

“Our offense, to me, was good all night,” coach Steve Clifford said. ”(The Pacers) are terrific defensively. We had good energy, good ball movement. We couldn’t stop them, either.”

Darren Collison posted 24 points and nine assists for the Pacers, who shot 53 percent from the field but committed 15 turnovers in losing to the Magic for the third time this season.

“Unacceptable,” Collison said. “It’s a tough loss, but it was inexcusable. We have to really understand what we’re trying to accomplish. At times, we show we’re this gritty team and covering for each other, and sometimes it seems we have miscues and breakdowns.”

At 38-39, the Magic sit a half-game behind Miami for eighth place. The Heat, 38-38, won 100-92 Saturday at New York. Orlando last made the playoffs in 2012.

“We don’t know how good we can be,” said Khem Birch, an unheralded second-year big man who chipped in 10 points off the bench. “That’s what (Clifford) told us after the game. A lot of people don’t know that we’re a good team.”

Gordon connected on a 3-pointer with 1:53 left that provided a 115-106 edge. He had help from Nikola Vucevic, who scored 19 points, and former Indiana guard D.J. Augustin, whose twisting layup restored a seven-point edge with 29 seconds to play.

Augustin finished with 11 points and 10 assists. Terrence Ross added 16 off the bench for Orlando, which trailed 57-56 at halftime and 92-90 after three quarters.

Indiana, at 45-32, remained tied for fourth place with Boston, which fell 110-96 at Brooklyn. The Pacers host the Celtics on Friday.

© 2019 Circle City Broadcasting I, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

FREE News & Weather Apps

Storm Track 8 Weather App

Download Now:

WISH-TV News App

Download Now: