On Wednesday, the Indiana Pacers played an NBA Playoffs game in Orlando for the first time in 17 years. The Orlando Magic were looking to hold on to home court advantage in the series, after sneaking in a game one win, and then losing badly at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in game two on Monday. Game three began, remained, and ended with nothing but an Indiana onslaught on Orlando’s home court.
The Pacers began the game by opening up an 8-0 lead, and holding Orlando to one-for-eight shooting to start. Indiana never gave the lead up. The Pacers led by double digits in the first quarter for the third straight game in this series. The Indiana lead was 21 points after three quarters, and got to be as big as 29 points. Orlando was held to less than 60 points after three quarters, and less than 80 points total, for the second straight game. Indiana won the contest in dominating fashion, eventually outscoring Orlando 97-74, taking back home court advantage in this opening round series.
Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy spoke to the media after the loss. “We didn’t play well on either end of the court. It was a very, very tough day. They clearly dominated us.” Van Gundy was obviously disappointed with his team’s performance. “You have team wins and you have team losses, and this was a team loss…coaching loss. We are all in it together. I don’t think anyone played well for us…anyone. We were awful, all of us, me included.”
This win for Indiana may not have been a knockout punch to the Magic, but it’s a big step towards sending Orlando on vacation for the rest of the summer. The Magic will need to regroup and rebound in game four, before returning to Indianapolis, for what could be a close-out game five on Tuesday