Game 3 - Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic
After losing Game 1 of their playoff series against Orlando, the Pacers knew they couldn't let another one slip away at home.
Danny Granger said the guys didn't panic or overreact after the first loss. Indiana bounced back from a slow first half Monday to even up the series at one game apiece with a 93-78 victory, which covered NBA odds of -9.5 points.
After a missed layup and a costly turnover in the waning minutes of Game 1, Granger still wasn't at his best on Monday. He only connected on seven of his 21 shot attempts and finished with 18 points.
Granger was 1 of 10 from 3-point range and the team made just 2 of 20 from downtown. The Magic might be in big trouble when the Pacers actually play the complete game that they're capable of.
Orlando was up two points at the break Monday but then got outhustled, and outscored, in the third quarter (30-13). The Magic's 3-pointers weren't falling (8 of 25) and when that isn't happening this team struggles to score points.
"We're going to have to be better offensively," head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I'm going to have to find something that works."
Van Gundy has talked all year about how his players are pitiful at stopping penetration from the perimeter. They allowed 50 points the paint by Pacers on Monday, and Roy Hibbert only had four. This is where they sorely miss Dwight Howard down low.
With easy buckets around the basket Indiana was able to shoot 43 percent from the floor Monday. Five Pacers were in double figures, including four starters with 17 or more. This is what Frank Vogel's squad has done all year -- ball sharing and balanced scoring.
Vogel said he would like to see his team push the tempo a little more. He doesn't think Indiana can be successful when the Magic are allowed to setup in their halfcourt defense.
"We've got to commit to the running game," Vogel said. "We've come and gone with that throughout the year and when we've run, we've been lethal."
This should resonate in over bettors' ears. The first total in this series was 192 and went well under. Oddsmakers made the total for the second game 187 and it went under. But they might have over-adjusted Game 3's number so it could be time to take a look at the over.
The Magic have to feel good about the way they've offset their lack of size in the paint, and about heading home after stealing a road win. Van Gundy said that his guys believe they can win this series and that they are playing with a chip on their shoulders because of the underdog role.
Orlando is in the same situation for Wednesday's game on NBA TV as BookMaker sportsbook opened it as a 3.5-point underdog at the Amway Center. The total surfaced at 183.5 but has been bet down to 183. Now you can wager in-game while the action unfolds with BookMaker's live betting option.
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