Pacers down Magic to Edge ahead in NBA Series
Danny Granger scored 26 points and Roy Hibbert added 18 as Indiana pulled away for a 97-74 victory over Orlando and a 2-1 lead in their NBA Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
The Pacers outscored the Magic 32-17 in the third quarter and 53-36 in the second half to edge ahead in the best-of-seven series, regaining home-court advantage after dropping the opener at Indianapolis.
Glen Davis scored 16 of his 22 points for the Magic in the second quarter. JJ Redick had 13 points off the bench and Jameer Nelson added 10.
Twelve points from Hibbert helped the Pacers pull away in the third quarter. A 15-3 scoring run swelled Indiana's lead to 21 points, Hibbert scoring six points during the run and Granger seven.
After leading by just six points at halftime, the Pacers led 76-55 going into the final period.
"I think our starters are just really dialed in," said Indiana coach Frank Vogel. "They have played extremely well together."
Despite the relative ease of the victory, Vogel said his team couldn't afford to become complacent.
"We understand how dangerous this team is," he said.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said his team could only try to put the defeat behind them and prepare for game four on Saturday.
"We didn't play well at either end of the floor," Van Gundy said. "Our starting line-up was really low energy today, just walking up and down.
"But I said it to our guys after the game: So we got it stuck to us today, but they don't get two wins for that.
"At this time of year they don't get two wins for blowing you out. It's 2-1. What we've got to do is keep our heads straight. The only thing that matters is getting ourselves ready to play a great game on Saturday."
Eastern Conference action continues on Thursday when New York host Miami, with the Knicks hoping a return to their home court will help reverse their fortunes in a series in which they trail 0-2.
However, the Knicks will be without forward Amare Stoudemire, who was treated for a laceration to his left hand after punching the glass case of a fire extinguisher in frustration after his team's game two defeat in Miami on Monday.
"It wasn't as if I was trying to take out the fire extinguisher," Stoudemire said at the Knicks' practice facility on Wednesday. "I was just trying to make some noise. It was out of frustration."
Stoudemire said there was a chance he could return for game four on Sunday.
"I think there's a great chance I could play on Sunday," said Stoudemire, who was sidelined late in the regular season with a bulging disk in his lower back.