NBA Basketball

106
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Orlando 25 20 40 21 106
Indiana 24 31 28 28 111
111
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CT22:00 , November 23, 2019
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana  Attendance: 16,446

Pacers begin home stretch against Magic

The Indiana Pacers begin a long stretch at home that sandwiches Thanksgiving when they host the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.

The game is a rematch of the Pacers' 109-102 win at Orlando on Nov. 10 in one of the early season's most unusual games.

The rapidly paced contest was interrupted by just 23 fouls, resulting in only 11 free throws. The Pacers made four of five, the Magic five of six.

The 11 total foul shots were the fewest in NBA history, breaking a record set in 1980 when the San Diego Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers combined for 12 free throws.

The infrequent trips to the foul line were nothing new to the Pacers, who rank last in the NBA at 17.6 attempts per game.

"They're a reflection of us not being aggressive enough to attack the basket," guard Malcolm Brogdon said of the low average. "That has to change."

Indiana did just about everything else right in the win at Orlando, including shooting 52.7 percent overall and hitting nine of their 20 3-point shots.

Doug McDermott played a key role in the win, contributing 18 points off the bench. Half his points came on 3-for-7 shooting on treys.

Magic coach Steve Clifford admitted afterward he had feared the Indiana bench before the game, then watched it play out, with McDermott and T.J. McConnell playing the leading roles.

"The two most important players of the game were McConnell and McDermott," he claimed to reporters after the game. "We had talked about that in shootaround. They've been getting really good bench play, and those two guys drilled us."

With McConnell's 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting complementing McDermott's 7 for 13 night overall, the Pacers earned a 37-31 edge in points off the bench, a six-point advantage that nearly mirrored the seven-point final margin in the game.

Despite getting 13 or more points on each occasion from Terrence Ross, the Magic have continued to have issues with reserve scoring in recent games. They've been outscored by 5.5 points a game off the bench in their last four outings, three of which they've won.

Each team has had a roller-coaster of a season.

The Magic lost five of six before winning three in a row to cap their last homestand. They've since been drubbed 113-97 at Toronto to open a four-game trip.

The Pacers already have had winning streaks of three and four games, as well as a three-game skid. They avoided a second three-game losing streak with a 115-86 shellacking of Brooklyn on the road Monday.

Upon touching down in Indianapolis on Tuesday morning, the Pacers began a stretch of 11 straight days at home, during which they will play just four times. They don't play on the road again until Nov. 30 at Philadelphia.

The Magic should enter the game well rested, too, not having played since Wednesday's loss at Toronto. They'll complete a four-game trip at Detroit and Cleveland before flying home for Thanksgiving.

--Field Level Media

Updated November 22, 2019

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