The Indiana Pacers had not won a playoff series since 2005, and had not closed out a playoff series at home since 2000. With the series on the line, the Pacers and the Orlando Magic went back and forth for most of the night.
Game 5 started out with a 7-7 tie early on, which resulted with Indiana pulling ahead by a score of 14-7. The Pacers kept that lead until 10:50 remained in the third, when the Magic took over the game by taking a 51-50 lead. The game was tied with 3:30 left in the third quarter. The Magic went into the game’s final quarter with a two-point lead, but the Pacers blew up and blew out the game late. The Pacers were outscored 24-19 in the third quarter, but bounced back to outscore Orlando by a whopping 36-16 margin in the game’s final quarter. Indiana seemed to know what was on the line, and was wiling to accept what awaited them in the next round of the NBA Playoffs.
Indiana’s head coach Frank Vogel commented on his first playoff series win. “We feel like this is just the beginning of a big run. We’re excited about where we are as a basketball team. There’s a great deal of power in teamwork. We said we ae going to have fun doin this…we are going to dream big, and I’m just so proud of those fans who endured some of those years when we struggled. We love them, they love us, it’s exciting.”
The Indiana Pacers await the winner of the series between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat.