Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Magic out to take 'poise' into meeting with Pacers

Field Level Media
19 Nov 2023, 05:05 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports)

The Orlando Magic look to forge a three-game road winning streak Sunday when they visit the Indiana Pacers for an Eastern Conference matchup at Indianapolis.

Orlando scored back-to-back wins at Chicago, 96-94 on Wednesday and 103-97 on Friday, to rebound from a 124-104 defeat at Brooklyn on Tuesday.

The loss to the Nets is the Magic's only defeat in their last four outings.

Franz Wagner led six Magic scorers in double figures on Friday, finishing with 21 points, including a pivotal three-point play with 20.1 seconds remaining as Orlando rallied after coughing up a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead.

The Magic trailed after an Alex Caruso 3-pointer with 26 seconds remaining but recovered to score the game's final seven points.

"I'm so proud of this group," Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley said. "There was a poise in the huddles. There was communication in the huddles. There each guy talking about scenarios and what we need to do, and it's just showing so much growth of this group."

The Magic's Jonathan Isaac came off the bench in Friday's win for season-highs of 18 points and nine rebounds. Isaac has been helping to fill the void with Wendell Carter Jr. out since Nov. 2 because of a hand injury that required surgery.

Isaac is averaging 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game but has recorded three of his four double-figure scoring performances over the Magic's last five outings.

Isaac also has four multiple blocked-shot games in his last seven appearances, contributing to Orlando's overall stout defensive play. The Magic are holding opponents to an average of 105.8 points per game, tied for third lowest in the NBA, heading into Saturday's play.

Orlando has allowed 38.8 made field goals per game, third-best among all NBA defenses entering Saturday.

Indiana boasts the league's highest-scoring offense at 126.5 points per game. The Pacers claimed their fourth win in the last five contests on Tuesday with a 132-126 road defeat over the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Pacers have put up at least 126 points in each of their last five games. Tyrese Haliburton led the team in scoring in four of the five contests.

Haliburton's 24.7 points per game lead Indiana, and his 12.5 assists a contest lead the NBA. Haliburton's distribution sets the tone for a balanced offense in which eight players, who have appeared in at least nine games, average 11 points an outing or more.

"This is how we're planning to play all the time: That hard, and with that much force and intensity," Indiana coach Rick Carlise said. "A lot of people believe during an NBA season, you just can't do it. With our roster and our depth, I believe we can."

For Indiana, Sunday is the first of four home games in a five-game span. For Orlando, Sunday marks the last game before it begins a five-game homestand, beginning with the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.

--Field Level Media

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