Indianapolis, IN – Jason Richardson buried the go-ahead three-pointer, part of a run of 11 unanswered Magic points to the end the game, as Orlando rallied to take Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, 81-77, over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.
Despite lacking the presence of three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard -- sidelined with season-ending back surgery -- Orlando prevented Indiana from scoring in the game's final 4:05.
Glen Davis had 16 points to go with 13 rebounds while Richardson and Jameer Nelson finished with 17 points apiece for the Magic, who have won five in a row at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
"I thought we executed real well. We did a great job," said Davis. "It was tough to get easy buckets. It was tough out there."
Roy Hibbert's career-high nine blocks for Indiana tied for the second-most in NBA playoff history, and David West led all scorers with 19 points, but the Pacers missed their final nine shots to drop the first test in this best-of- seven series.
Game 2 will take place on Monday.
The hosts trailed by one entering the fourth and used an 8-0 run beginning at the 9:23 mark to go up 75-68.
That margin appeared comfortable when Darren Collison hit a pullup jumper to make it 77-70 a bit later, but then Indiana went cold from the field.
Nelson began the comeback with a bucket, and Richardson made it a two-point game with a trey following Danny Granger's turnover.
The Pacers missed another five shots -- and two free-throw opportunities -- before Richardson connected on another triple, this one to give his team the lead at 78-77 with 1:04 remaining.
Nelson hit a pair at the line to push the Magic's edge to three, and Indiana missed several chances late.
Collison badly missed a shot after Nelson's free-throws, and Hibbert fouled Earl Clark, who proceeded to miss both at the stripe.
But when Granger accepted the inbounds pass after a timeout with about 10 seconds to play, he very clearly traveled, and J.J. Redick made 1-of-2 freebies to seal the contest.
"It was a bad series. We knew they were dangerous from the three-point line," said Granger, adding, "The good thing about this is it's a seven-game series. We missed a lot of our free-throws and had some struggles, but it's just the first game."
Indiana rolled out to a 17-7 lead in the first quarter, eventually settling on a 22-21 edge after one.
But after a back-and-forth middle of the second stanza that saw seven lead changes and four ties, the Magic quieted the crowd with an 8-1 run late, and they took a 51-44 advantage into intermission.
Hibbert's nine blocks set a franchise playoff high...Davis played despite spraining his ankle last week...Hedo Turkoglu started for Orlando for the first time since having cheekbone surgery for a facial fracture on April 7. He finished with nine points on 3-of-10 shooting...This is the first playoff meeting between this teams since the 1995 Eastern Conference finals, which the Magic won in seven games.