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NBA PLAYOFFS -- Pacers finish off Magic, advance to 2nd round


PhilBoxing.com




THE No.3 seeded Indiana Pacers became the first team in the Eastern Conference to earn a berth in the second round of the 2012 NBA playoffs when they knocked out the No.6 seeded Orlando Magic Tuesday night at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Indiana scored a 105-87 drubbing in Game 5 to clinch the best-of-7 series, 4-1. The milestone marked Indy's first playoffs series win since 2005. In it's heyday in 2000, the Pacers went all the way to the NBA Finals, losing to the LA Lakers of Shaq and Kobe.

The Magic didn't just surrender the series on a golden platter. Even without their star Dwight Howard, the Magic fought tooth and nail and took a precarious 71-69 lead heaidng into the fourth quarter. But the Pacers refuse to be denied, dropping 36 points in the final 12 minutes to seal the deal.

"I'm just so happy for our fans. They've endured a lot those years when we struggled. To finally see us come back and have a winning team again and somebody that has a chance to do something this year. That's what they deserve. Pacers basketball is back," Pacers coach Frank Vogel told the Associated Press.

The Pacers will next play the winner of the showdown between No. 2 Miami and No.7 New York. The Heat lead that series 3-1 with a chance to eliminate the Knicks in Game 5 Wednesday night at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.

Danny Granger led Indy with 25 points on 4-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Darren Collison was prolific at the point, scoring 19 and dishing 6 assists. George Hill added 15 points and 8 rebounds for Indiana which shot 43-of-82 field goals including 9-of-17 threes.

Diminutive point guard Jameer Nelson led the Magic with 27 points. The 5-foot-11 spitfire also had five assists, four rebounds and two steals. Glen Davis and Ryan Anderson combined for 29 points for Orlando which converted only 32 of 76 field goals and 11 of 30 threes. (Homer D. Sayson)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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