=== Pacers use fourth quarter surge to roll Magic ===
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Paul George scored 24 points, grabbed
six rebounds and handed out five assists and the Indiana Pacers took over in
the fourth quarter of a 97-87 victory over the Orlando Magic in the season
opener for both clubs.
The Pacers maintained the core of last season's squad that took the eventual-
champion Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals.
Part of that nucleus, Roy Hibbert, finished with eight points, 16 rebounds
and seven blocks before receiving a scare late in the game when he appeared to
injure his left knee. He walked away under his own power after rolling around
in pain and stayed on the bench for the final five-plus minutes with the
outcome no longer in doubt.
After the game, Pacers head coach Frank Vogel calmed any fear of a lingering
injury by announcing Hibbert will play Wednesday against the Pelicans.
Lance Stephenson, starting in place of the injured Danny Granger, chipped in
19 points and David West added 13 for Indiana, which opened the fourth quarter
on an 11-1 run to pull away.
The Magic finished an NBA-worst 20-62 last season but stayed competitive
Tuesday through three quarters. Their inexperienced but promising roster got a
boost with the selection of Victor Oladipo as the No. 2 pick in the draft.
The former Indiana Hoosiers All-American totaled 12 points in his debut.
"Once I got out there it all sunk it," Oladipo said of his first pro game.
"It's not all going to come overnight. ... I just have to be patient."
Andrew Nicholson scored 18 points in the first half but was held scoreless
after the break for Orlando, which shot just 39 percent from the field.
George beat the third-quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer to give the Pacers a
69-64 lead, and three consecutive Magic turnovers to start the final frame
allowed the hosts to jump in front by double digits.
Luis Scola, acquired in the offseason in a trade with the Suns, connected on a
mid-range jumper to give Indiana an 80-65 cushion with under nine minutes to
play, and the closest Orlando got from there was 10.
"We didn't really play a great basketball game but we were able to make enough
plays to get out of here with a double-digit victory," Vogel said. "I thought
our defense in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter was really
The Pacers poured it on early before the Magic got their feet under them and
began chipping away at an early deficit.
Orlando found itself trailing 12-0 just 3:20 into the game but pulled within
23-18 at the end of 12 minutes and took its first lead, 31-29, on E'Twaun
Moore's steal and uncontested dunk with 7:44 remaining in the half.
Nicholson had 12 points in the second quarter, which ended with the Magic
holding a 44-40 lead, and it was no more than a two-possession contest the
entire third quarter.
Granger, who missed all but all but five games last season with a knee injury,
will miss approximately three weeks with a strained left calf ... The Magic
were without their starting forwards in Tobias Harris (ankle) and Glen Davis
(foot) ... Mo Harkless netted 14 points for the Magic ... The Pacers committed
21 turnovers to Orlando's 19 ... Orlando had won seven of its previous 10 in
Indianapolis ... The Pacers' 18 blocks were one shy of the franchise record.
10/30 00:13:58 ET