(Sports Network) - The Indiana Pacers have managed to put a lackluster opening
game effort behind them and will attempt to take complete control of their
Eastern Conference quarterfinals series with Orlando when the two teams square
off in Game 4.
Danny Granger scored 26 points and Roy Hibbert had 18 on Wednesday as the
Pacers ran away in the second half for a 97-74 rout over the Magic in Central
Florida during Game 3.
George Hill added 15 points in the win, Paul George scored 12 and Darren
Collison had 10 off the bench as the Pacers outscored the Magic 32-17 in the
third and 53-36 after intermission to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven
"I think our starters are just really dialed in," said Indiana coach Frank
Vogel, whose team out-rebounded the Magic 46-33, with Hibbert getting 10 and
Granger nine. "They have played extremely well together."
Glen Davis scored 16 of his 22 points for Orlando in the second quarter, J.J.
Redick had 13 points off the bench and Jameer Nelson added 10.
"We didn't play well at either end of the floor," said Magic coach Stan Van
Gundy. "It was a very, very tough day. They clearly dominated us."
Vogel said his team wouldn't look too far ahead after the easy win, especially
since the Pacers lost three of four to the Magic in the regular season series.
"I think it's always a concern, but [we] understand how dangerous this team
is," said Vogel.
Indiana is also aware of just how quickly Orlando's offense can heat up even
without injured All-Star center Dwight Howard, who is done for the season
after back surgery.
The Pacers have done a great job on Ryan Anderson, who was named the NBA's
Most Improved Player on Friday. Anderson is averaging just 7.7 points through
the first three games of the set but is always a threat to get hot from long
"'We really keep a short-sighted mindset," Vogel said. "We're not looking at
what Miami (Indiana's possible opponent in the second round) is doing or any
other series. We're not looking at how many games we need to win. We have a
Game 4 mindset."
The Magic, meanwhile, are focusing on what Van Gundy called "subtle" changes.
"We're through 69 games; we're not going to change everything we do," the
Orlando mentor said. "You can put in something here or there and change a
defensive scheme here and there."
The Pacers, who finished behind top-seeded Chicago in the Central Division,
haven't moved past the first round of the playoffs since 2005. They've met the
Magic twice in the postseason, the last time in 1995 with Orlando winning in
seven games in the East finals.
"It would be a big step," Vogel said of making the second round of the
playoffs. "We talked last year when we got into the playoffs that it was a big
step for us to get back to the playoffs. And that this year our goal is to
take an even bigger step. So that's definitely the goal."
Game 5 of the series is Tuesday back in Indianapolis.
The Sports Network