NBA Game Summary - Indiana at Orlando
(Monday, April 18th)
Final Score: Orlando 92, Indiana 88
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Steve Francis scored 24 points, pulled down six rebounds and dished out six assists to lead Orlando past Indiana, 92-88, at TD Waterhouse Centre.
DeShawn Stevenson finished with 18 points and Dwight Howard added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Magic, who snapped a seven-game losing streak. Tony Battie finished with 12 points and nine rebounds in the win.
"It felt great," Orlando head coach Chris Jent said of snapping the seven-game skid. "It was deserving for the fans to have us come out here and really represent the franchise in the right way."
Fred Jones led the way for the Pacers with 19 points and Jermaine O'Neal added 16 points. Indiana has dropped three in a row and four of its last six games. Reggie Miller finished with 13 points in his last game in Orlando.
"It's an opportunity lost," Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. "Our undoing was the way we defended in the first half. They were shooting 59 percent after one quarter and still shooting 51 percent at halftime."
Indiana saw its lead dwindled to just one game ahead of Philadelphia for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Sixers wrapped up a playoff berth on Monday by defeating the Milwaukee Bucks.
After trailing by double digits for much of the third frame, the Pacers hit back-to-back three-pointers to trail 75-71 heading into the fourth quarter. James Jones and Austin Croshere were responsible for the treys with Croshere's coming with less than a minute to go.
James Jones connected from three-point range again in the early moments of the fourth quarter, making it an 80-78 contest with just over nine minutes left in the contest.
Indiana continued to hang around by a deuce and eventually drew within one, 83-82, following a free throw by O'Neal with under six minutes left to play.
The Pacers finally grabbed the lead after Fred Jones' two-point bucket moments later.
However, a bucket by Battie then Jameer Nelson, put the Magic back on top, 87-84 with 3:34 to play.
Neither team could score over the next two minutes, until Fred Jones was fouled on his layup attempt and proceeded to hit two free throws to make it a one-point game with 57.3 ticks on the clock.
Battie was then fouled on Orlando's next possession, but hit just 1-of-2 from the line, staking the Magic to an 88-86 advantage.
Fred Jones was unable to convert on his layup attempt the next trip down and the rebound fell to the Magic. Francis then drilled a 20-foot jumper on the Magic's next opportunity to make it a four-point spread and just 10.4 seconds left.
Another O'Neal bucket made it a two-point game, but two more free throws by Battie sealed the win for the Magic.
Orlando led 28-24 after one quarter of play and garnered a 51-44 advantage at intermission.
Indiana Pacers guard Anthony Johnson was suspended one game without pay for throwing a punch at Miami center Alonzo Mourning in Sunday's 84-80 loss...The Magic have had five seven-game losing streaks the past two seasons...The Pacers shot just 41 percent from the floor, but outrebounded Orlando 41-39...The Magic went 34-of-71 (48 percent) from the field and connected on 5-of-11 from three-point territory.
04/18 23:36:44 ET