x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Dwight Howard leads Orlando Magic past Indiana Pacers

Dwight Howard had 19 points and 16 rebounds to help the Orlando Magic beat the Indiana Pacers 111-96.

INDIANAPOLIS // Dwight Howard had 19 points and 16 rebounds to help the Orlando Magic beat the Indiana Pacers 111-96.

Jason Richardson had 19 points and nine rebounds, Hedo Turkoglu scored 18 points and Ryan Anderson added 14 for the Magic, who made 16-of-34 three-pointers and shot 50 per cent from the field. Orlando has won four of their past five games, but went into this contest on the back of a home defeat to Detroit on Monday.

Danny Granger scored 27 points for the Pacers, but he shot 6 for 19 from the field. Darren Collison added 21 points for Indiana, who lost have now chalked up six straight defeats.

Indiana made just 8-of-30 three-pointers. The Pacers tied for their worst home loss, matching their 15-point defeat on December 15 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Orlando made seven three-pointers in the second-quarter to open up a close game. The Magic shot 59 per cent in the first-half and led 62-48 at the break. Orlando shot 72 per cent in the second-quarter and outscored the Pacers 38-27.

Indiana opened the second-half with a three-pointer by Mike Dunleavy, but the Magic regained momentum with an alley-oop pass from Turkoglu to Howard for a power jam that gave the Magic a 69-53 lead. Orlando then stretched their lead to 23 points mid-way through the quarter and led 86-72 at the end of the period.

Indiana opened the fourth-quarter with a three-pointer by Granger, sparking a 7-0 run that cut Orlando's lead to 86-79.

Turkoglu stopped the run with a three-point play that pushed the Magic's lead back to 10 points with 8:39 to play.

A three-pointer by Jameer Nelson gave Orlando a 94-79 lead and caused the Pacers to call a timeout.

Indiana closed within 11, but Richardson made two three-pointers to extend Orlando's lead to 103-86