INDIANAPOLIS – It wasn’t easy, but the Indiana Pacers (12-9) found a way on Monday night.
A week after defeating the Orlando Magic (8-13) in Florida, the Pacers did it again to the tune of a 121-109 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
After missing his first game of the season on Saturday with a bruised right knee, Victor Oladipo returned with a vengeance on Monday. The former IU star scored a game-high 26 points on 11-for-14 shooting, including knocking down his first 11 shots of the game, as well as grabbing six rebounds and handing out five assists.
The first quarter of Monday’s contest was competitive, with each side playing hot potato lead early on. It was Indy who went into the second period with the advantage, though, as the Pacers closed the first on a 19-10 run to lead 33-25.
There was really no separation in the second quarter, as the Pacers outscored the Magic 25-24. Orlando did rally to go in front at 37-35, but a timely 9-0 Indiana run gave the home team the lead right back. The Blue and Gold led at the half, 57-50.
Quarter number three was yet another pretty even one. Indiana saw their lead balloon to as many as 12, but Orlando never backed down. A 14-3 Magic run ended the third, shaving the Pacers’ advantage down to 85-84 with just 12 minutes left to play.
The Magic briefly held the lead in the fourth at 86-85 thanks to an Evan Fournier basket, but Indy responded with a 9-0 run and never looked back. Up 95-91 with 8:59 remaining, the Pacers put this ballgame to rest with a huge 13-0 run. Lance Stephenson provided a late spark yet again, dishing out an exciting assist and nailing an important three-pointer in the midst of Indy’s game-sealing run.
Oladipo led the way with 26 points, but four other Pacers also scored in double-figures. Bojan Bogdanovic was next in line with 22, while Domantas Sabonis chipped in 19 points off of the bench. Myles Turner and Stephenson each scored 18.
Of the eight Pacers that played, Indiana had more score in double-figures (five), than not (three). Darren Collison scored two points, Thaddeus Young scored just two and Cory Joseph fell just short with nine.
As a team, Indy was feeling it from downtown. The Pacers shot 57.7% from behind the arc, connecting on 15 of 26 three-point attempts. Orlando jacked up 41 threes, hitting 16 of them (39%).
Following a 2-1 homestand, the Pacers will head out for a two-game road trip before returning home again next Monday (Dec. 4). The trip begins on Wednesday in Houston, as Indiana will battle the Rockets. Game time from the state of Texas is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.