Coming off their first road win of the New Year, the Indiana Pacers hope to stay the course Wednesday night in the finale of a three-game jaunt against the hosting Orlando Magic at Amway Center.
The Pacers snapped a three-game road losing streak with a 103-76 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats Tuesday night as Paul George scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the charge. Roy Hibbert added 18 points and four blocks for the Pacers, who didn't give Charlotte much of a chance to breath and outscored the Bobcats, 33-17, in the third quarter.
"We were aggressive out there. We came out with energy and played really well," Hibbert said. "I tried to take shots within the rhythm of the game and tried to be a defensive presence out there and block some shots."
David West contributed 15 points and eight rebounds and George Hill added 16 points for the Central-leading Pacers, who have won 14 of their last 18 games overall and pushed their road ledger to 9-12 this season.
Indiana will head home for Friday's matchup with Houston, then will begin a four-game western road swing Monday against Memphis, Portland, Utah and Denver. The Pacers have dominated at home to the tune of a 15-3 record.
Meanwhile, the listless Magic are back in central Florida for three straight games versus Indiana, Charlotte and Dallas. The Magic have lost six in a row as the host and are only 7-12 at Amway Center this season.
Orlando went 1-3 on a recent road trip, which culminated with Monday's 120-91 loss to the Washington Wizards. Jameer Nelson scored 19 points to go with 12 assists and Nikola Vucevic notched a double-double with 13 points and 13 boards for the Magic, who have dropped 11 of their last 12 games.
"We looked sluggish, especially in the beginning of the game," Nelson said. "We just didn't do some of the things on defense that we talked about. They are things we can easily correct by playing with more effort."
The Wizards led from start to finish and outscored the Magic during the second half by a 61-38 margin. Orlando has lost six of its last 12 games by four points or less.
It appears the Magic, who have reached the playoffs 14 times during the last 19 seasons, are headed down a lowly road. But on the bright side they took three of four meetings with Indiana last season and are 15-4 in the previous 19 meetings between the clubs.
Orlando has won seven of eight and 10 of the past 13 at home versus Indiana.