EditorsNote: 3rd graf, change 24 to 26
T.J. Warren made his first eight field-goal attempts on his way to 32 points, and the Indiana Pacers led the Orlando Magic wire-to-wire in a 120-109 win Tuesday in NBA seeding-round action.
Warren continued his red-hot scoring touch since the season restarted from the COVID-19 hiatus. Tuesday's performance gave him 119 points over three games, which ties a franchise record, and Indiana (42-26) remains perfect since the restart.
Behind Warren's scorching start, Indiana led Orlando (32-36) by as many as 23 points in the first quarter and 26 points in the second.
The Magic cut into the lead in the second half, but could not trim the deficit into single digits until the final minute.
Indiana kept Orlando at bay with a balanced complement of scorers behind Warren. Myles Turner scored 21 points, Aaron Holiday and Malcolm Brogdon both scored 12 points, and Victor Oladipo added 13 points in his return to the lineup after a scheduled rest on Monday.
T.J. McConnell came off the bench to score 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and dished five assists, second only to Brogdon's game-high eight.
Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Aaron Gordon added 20 points, and Terrance Ross delivered his second 20-plus-point effort in as many games off the bench with 20 -- all of which came in the second half.
While all three hit the 20-point mark for a second consecutive game -- and for Vucevic, a third time in the Orlando-area bubble -- the rest of the Magic combined for just 45 points on 18-of-41 shooting.
Orlando went 39-of-82 from the floor and 12-of-34 from 3-point range. Indiana was marginally better from 3-point range at 13-of-33, but Warren and Turner went a combined 8-of-10.
Tuesday marked Orlando's first loss in the restarted season. Coupled with the Brooklyn Nets' stunning defeat of the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks earlier in the day, the Magic slipped from the East's No. 7 to No. 8 spot.
Indiana extended its lead over Philadelphia for the No. 5 seed to 1.5 games.
--Field Level Media