Pacers vs Magic -- Indy wins by a nose, leads Magic 3-1
By Jose Roberto Meza
Sun, 06 May 2012
NO LEAD, no matter how large, is safe in the NBA playoffs.
The Indiana Pacers got that harrowing reminder Saturday afternoon when they surrendered a 19-point fourth quarter lead and had to sweat through an overtime session before edging the Magic, 101-99, at the Amway Center in Orlando.
After dropping Game 1 at home, 81-77, Indiana has won three in a row against Orlando. The Game 4 triumph catapults the Pacers to a commanding 3-1 lead in this best-of-7 opening round series.
The Pacers host Game 5 Tuesday night at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis where they hope to close out Orlando and advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, most likely against the Miami Heat who are dominating the New York Knicks with a 3-0 series lead in their Round 1 tussle.
When Danny Granger's lay-up found the bottom of the net with 8:14 left in regulation, the Pacers looked like they were skating the rest of the way with an 82-63 bulge.
But the Magic, who lost their best player Dwight Howard to back surgery before the advent of the postseason, just wouldn't go away.
Orlando went on a 14-0 run to come to within 82-77. And after George Hill ended Indy's drought with a 20-foot jumper, the Magic put together another run, this time tying the score at 89 after J.J. Reddick swished a 3 with 38 seconds to go.
Orlando had the golden chance to win Game 4 outright, but Jameer Nelson missed a turnaround jumper as time expired. In overtime, the Magic ran out of miracles and the Pacers barely hung on, 101-99.
Veteran David West spearheaded Indy's attack with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Granger finished with 21 while 7-foot-2 giant Roy Hibbert dominated the middle with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Jason Richardson and Glen "Big Baby" Davis combined for 49 points for Orlando while Nelson tallied 12 points and 11 assists. (Jose Roberto Meza)
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