ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando’s last-second victory over Western Conference leader Oklahoma City on Friday had the potential to be a season highlight for a team seemingly already holding a one-way ticket to the lottery.
It turns out the Magic weren’t quite done turning heads.
Victor Oladipo had 23 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, and the Magic rallied to surprise East-leading Indiana Pacers 93-92 on Sunday night.
Indiana stole Orlando’s inbounds pass with nine seconds left and Paul George was able to get off a 20-foot jumper. But it came up short and was rebounded by the Magic, who ran out the clock.
Today going into the fourth quarter (coach Jacque Vaughn) just simply told us whoever plays hard is going to win the game. If you really want to win you’ll play harder than them,’ said Oladipo, who played the entire fourth quarter for the second consecutive game. That second unit played hard, played together, and most of all we just played D, let our defense juice our offense.
Before the game, Pacers coach Frank Vogel said that he didn’t think his team was taking any games for granted prior to the All-Star break. He went as far as to recite Chuck Daly’s old line to never trust happiness in the NBA.
There wasn’t much Sunday as the Pacers had multiple defensive lapses in both halves which helped the Magic to hang around and eventually steal the game late.
George led the Pacers with 27 points. Lance Stephenson added 16.
The loss ends Indiana’s win streak at four games.
Vogel said his team’s inability to stave off a third quarter push by the Magic was the difference.
They picked up their energy, he said. We’ve got to handle it. There was a stretch there in the third where we could have put them away. We were a little careless with some possessions ... and it was costly.
THUNDER 112, KNICKS 100: In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 41 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to lead Oklahoma City.
BULLS 92, LAKERS 86: In Los Angeles, Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points, Joakim Noah had 18 points and 13 rebounds as Chicago won after nearly blowing a 19-point lead.
NETS 93, PELICANS 91: In New York, rookie Mason Plumlee scored a season-high 22 points and matched his best with 13 rebounds to lead Brooklyn.
WIZARDS 93, KINGS 84: In Washington, Nene scored 18 points to lead Washington.
CAVALIERS 91, GRIZZLIES 83, OT: In Cleveland, Kyrie Irving scored 28 points as Cleveland won back-to-back games for the first time in a month.
MAVERICKS 102, CELTICS 91: In Boston, Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points, Shawn Marion finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds as Dallas extended its winning streak to a season-high five games.
CLIPPERS 123, 76ERS 78: In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, and Los Angeles stormed out to a 31-point lead in the first quarter en route to the win.