Pacers return home to entertain Magic
The Indiana Pacers split their two-game road trip and are back at home for a pair of games, starting with Tuesday's matchup with the Orlando Magic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers suffered a loss at Philadelphia on Saturday in the tail end of back-to-back games and played their third game in four nights. After a few days' rest, Indiana clobbered Cleveland, 111-90, Monday night at the Q.
Gerald Green scored 20 points, Tyler Hansbrough added 18 points and 11 rebounds in place of injured forward David West and All-Star Paul George scored 14 points for Indiana, which had lost two in a row and three of four.
"(We) got a big lift...by Gerald Green, coming in there and getting a second opportunity after being out of the rotation for a while," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.
Roy Hibbert was a busy man inside, registering 12 points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
West is bothered by a sprained lower back and is questionable Tuesday.
Indiana is 26-8 at home and second in the East -- one game ahead of idle New York -- and will also host Milwaukee on this quick homestand.
Orlando will resume its four-game road trip Tuesday and has lost the first two tests at Oklahoma City and Milwaukee.
In Sunday's 115-109 loss to the Bucks, the Magic had trouble slowing down Monta Ellis, who scored 25 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter. Milwaukee ran away in the final stanza, outscoring the Magic by a 45-28 margin.
Arron Afflalo scored 24 points and rookie Maurice Harkless added a career-high 23 points to go with nine rebounds for the Magic, who have dropped three straight and five of their last six.
"In the fourth quarter we didn't defend like we did the first three quarters," Magic center Nikola Vucevic said. "We played well for most of the game, but at the end of the game Monta Ellis made some huge shots, some tough shots. We didn't make the right adjustments. We didn't defend it right. They got back into it and got the win."
Vucevic had his 37th double-double of the season with 20 points and 15 boards in the setback.
The Magic are counting down the days to the end of the season and will close out the road trip Wednesday in New York. They are only 8-24 away from central Florida and 3-16 against the East as the guest. In injury news for Orlando, forward Andrew Nicholson (illness) is questionable against the Pacers.
Orlando and Indiana have split two meetings this season with both games played down south at Amway Center. The Magic are 15-4 in the last 19 encounters with the Pacers and have won five in a row as the visitor in this series. A lot of the success has to do with former Magic center Dwight Howard, who now runs the paint with the Los Angeles Lakers.