Thaaaaaat’s more like it. The Indiana Pacers thumped the Magic in Orlando, 97-74, getting back the home court advantage they lost in game one and shooting to a 2-1 lead in their first round series. It was still close in the first half, but like they did in game 2, the Pacers broke it open with a massive third quarter (32-17) and cruised to an easy win.
I said after game 2 that the Pacers needed Danny Granger to start hitting his shots and for Roy Hibbert to stay on the floor. I also said the Pacers needed to share the ball better, having only dished out a total of 9 assists in game 2. Well, they responded. Granger scored a career playoff high 26 points on 9-16 shooting including 5-9 from downtown. Roy Hibbert had 18 and 10 on 8-10 shooting and swatted three shots. As a team they had 16 assists, not great but still a significant improvement. With the team playing so well it didn’t even matter that David West, who had been the Pacers’ best player in the first 2 games, had an off night with just 4 points on 2-9 shooting.
Does this mean the Pacers will now win with ease the rest of the way? I hope so, but a series like this can change in a real hurry. As long as the Pacers continue to play to their strengths and not take the Magic easily they should be fine, but to be honest it feels like there are a couple more twists left in this series.
The Pacers aim for a 3-1 lead on Saturday.