ORLANDO, Fla. – Indiana’s offense had no problem handling Danny Granger’s absence on Friday night.
Paul George had 25 points and Tyler Hansbrough added 18 as the Pacers used a big first half to roll past Orlando 115-86.
Indiana scored 30 points off 21 Orlando turnovers and also connected on 11 three-pointers in the victory.
The offensive eruption came after a late-game offensive meltdown against Boston on Wednesday night that ended in a last-second loss.
It’s important, Pacers coach Frank Vogel said of having a bounce-back win. We felt like we let a game slip away clearly. ... This league is about how you respond to situations like that. And we responded in a big-time way.
The Pacers ended a three-game regular-season losing streak to the Magic. It was also their second straight game without Granger, who is expected to miss a week resting a sore left knee.
Indiana was equally tough on the defensive end, where it came in allowing 89.5 points per game.
The Pacers’ attention now turns to a Sunday trip to Miami, where the Pacers will look to wrap up a 3-0 regular-season sweep. They were also the last team to beat the Heat, who ran their winning streak to 17 games Friday.
We hit some shots, Hansbrough said. We were on point tonight. I was trying to take it one game at a time. But now that it’s over, I’m excited about going down there. It’ll be a fun game. They’re rolling and I’m excited about it.
Indiana struggled offensively in its 11-point loss in Orlando in January, but had no repeat issues on Friday as it built a 26-point lead early in the second half.
The biggest improvement came at the three-point line, where they connected on 11 of 19 attempts.
George said he’s looking forward to testing himself against Miami.
We’re excited for the matchup, he said. We know it’s going to be a tough game. They’ve been playing so well. And we being the last team that beat them, we know everybody’s going to be up for that game. It should be a fun game to watch.