INDIANAPOLIS – Danny Granger scored 25 points to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Orlando Magic 105-87 on Tuesday night and clinch their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series 4-1.
It was Indiana’s first series win in the playoffs since 2005 and its first homecourt clincher since the first round of the 2000 playoffs. The Pacers will play Miami or New York in the second round.
Darren Collison scored 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and George Hill added 15 points for the Pacers, who trailed by two at the end of the third quarter but outscored the Magic 36-16 in the final 12 minutes.
Jameer Nelson led Orlando with 27 points and made 5 of 8 3-pointers. Glen Davis, a thorn in Indiana’s side throughout the series, scored 15 but made just 6 of 17 shots. The Magic made just 5 of 16 shots in the fourth quarter.
Collison made a layup and hit a 3-pointer to give the Pacers a 78-73 lead with 9:33 to play. After Nelson drained another 3, Collison came back with a layup, then Leandro Barbosa’s steal and layup pushed Indiana’s lead to 87-80 with 6:49 to play and forced an Orlando timeout. A few minutes later, Indiana’s Paul
George stole an inbounds pass and found Granger under the hoop for a layup and a 91-80 lead. The Pacers dominated from there.
Indiana led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but as was the case throughout the series, it didn’t last. Orlando got hot late in the half, and a 3-pointer by Jason Richardson and a bucket by Davis cut Indiana’s lead to 48-47. Indiana’s Roy Hibbert made a hook shot to push the lead back to three at the break.
A putback by Ryan Anderson gave Orlando a 51-50 lead early in the third quarter.
A bucket by David West and a jumper and a 3-pointer by Hill pushed Indiana’s lead to 57-51. Orlando rallied again and tied the game at 61 on a fadeaway by Davis before a three by Nelson gave Orlando a 66-64 lead. He hit another three in the closing seconds — he had 15 in the quarter — to give Orlando a 71-69 lead.
Hill added nine points in the period to keep the Pacers in the game before Collison and Granger put it away.