The red-hot Indiana Pacers will look to extend their current winning streak to five games and seek a second straight win over the Orlando Magic on Monday in Indianapolis.
The same two teams played on Saturday, with Indiana outlasting Orlando for its sixth win in the last seven games, 114-113.
Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner both recorded double-doubles in the win, Haliburton with 22 points and 14 assists and Turner with 20 points and 11 rebounds. The duo helped pace Indiana to its fourth single-digit-margin win in the month of November.
“We’re going through this together for the first time, but it’s happening over and over where we’re in close games,” Haliburton said in his postgame press conference. “You’ve kinda got to figure it out together on the go, and we’re growing together as a group.”
The Pacers also continued to show off their depth with the reserve duo of Aaron Nesmith and Bennedict Mathurin going for 19 and 12 points, respectively.
On the season, Mathurin is Indiana’s second-leading scorer at 19.1 points per game, behind only Haliburton’s 20.6 points per game. Mathurin has come off the bench in all 15 games.
“We have a young team, but … we are pretty quick at finding ways to win,” Mathurin told Bally Sports following Saturday’s win. “Which is a great thing. Play every game like it was the last game, so we’re trying to win every game.”
Indiana weathered three 20-point-plus scoring efforts from Orlando’s Franz Wagner (29 points), Bol Bol (22 points) and Mo Bamba (21 points) in Saturday’s win, which was the Magic’s third loss in the last four games.
Orlando was playing the second leg of a back-to-back on Saturday, the second game in a brief, three-game road swing that opened Friday with a thrilling win at Chicago.
After giving up a 19-point lead to the Bulls, the Magic rallied in the closing minute to set the stage for Jalen Suggs’ game-winning 3-pointer.
Orlando nearly scored another win in the closing seconds on Saturday, but both Wagner and Bol missed looks at the rim.
“We drew the play up just like that,” Bol said of the final sequence to get Wagner open. Bol got the rebound and had another attempt that fell short. “It was a good look,” he said.
Wendell Carter Jr., who played Friday against the Bulls, missed Saturday’s game with a foot injury. Gary Harris also sat against the Pacers after contributing seven points in 24 minutes at Chicago.
The absences compounded season-long personnel issues for Orlando, which remains without No. 1 overall draft pick Paolo Banchero due to an ankle injury.
Banchero — who is averaging 23.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game — last played on Nov. 7. The Orlando Sentinel reports he will miss another seven to 10 days.
“A lot of guys stepped up tonight. It’s next-man mentality,” Wagner said in his postgame press conference of Orlando’s play with a bevy of injuries. “I think we’ve got a great team chemistry and guys are ready to play. Lineups change a little bit, but everyone’s always engaged in practice and everyone knows what they’re supposed to do out there.”
–Field Level Media