Oladipo, Pacers send Magic to ninth straight loss
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo had no clue he sank his first 11 shots on Monday night.
“I was just going out there playing aggressive and playing with confidence,” Oladipo said. “I was trying to help my teammates out.”
Oladipo scored a team-high 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting in Indiana’s 121-109 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Orlando lost its ninth consecutive game.
Oladipo had sat out the Pacers’ Saturday night loss to the Boston Celtics after sustaining a bruised right knee during a Friday night victory over the Toronto Raptors.
“It felt good to be out there,” said Oladipo, who hit 4 of 6 attempts from 3-point range. “It was tough watching the last game. I felt I could have helped.”
Oladipo added six rebounds, five assists, two steals and career-high-tying four blocked shots. The only negative was five turnovers.
“He was anxious to play and just came out aggressive. He shot the ball with a great deal of confidence,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “When a guy is playing with that type of confidence, we try to put the ball in his hands and let him make plays, and he did that (Monday night).”
Indiana guard Lance Stephenson classified Oladipo’s play as awesome.
“He came off of the injury and played like he never left,” Stephenson said.
Bojan Bogdanovic added 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting for the Pacers (12-9). Domantas Sabonis chipped in with 19 points and eight rebounds. Myles Turner scored 18 points, and Stephenson matched his season high with 18 off the bench.
“Coach is doing a good job of letting me play, even through mistakes,” Stephenson said.
Jonathon Simmons, making his second start of the season, scored 21 points to lead six players in doubles figures for the Magic, who lost their ninth consecutive game. Simmons set a career high with four 3-pointers.
The Pacers sank 15 of 26 from 3-point range and the Magic were 16 of 41 on 3-pointers.
Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic each had 16 points for Orlando (8-13). Vucevic added a team-high 12 rebounds.
D.J. Augustin was fouled on a 3-point attempt with a half-second left in the third quarter, and he hit two of three free throws to cut Orlando’s deficit to 85-84 after three quarters.
The Magic capped a 16-3 spurt to grab a brief 86-85 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Orlando was within 95-91 before Indiana reeled off a game-breaking 13-0 spurt, including 3-pointers by Oladipo, Stephenson and Cory Joseph to push the lead to 108-91 with 5:47 to go.
“They played a great basketball game and we had some improvements that we got to focus on and not worry about the streak or anything like that,” Magic coach Frank Vogel said. “We got to stay together and understand its November 27th and there’s five months left in the season. We’ve got plenty of time, we’ve got to get a win, but it’s a long season.”
Oladipo scored 18 points in the first half.
The Pacers sank 21 of 41 shots, including 7 of 12 from 3-point range, in the opening half to take a 57-50 edge. The Pacers were 42 of 79 (53.2 percent) overall and the Magic were 40 of 92 (43.5 percent).
“It was pretty frustrating,” Gordon said. “I thought we were going to win that one. I thought we came out with great energy. You go into a scoring drought, they’re red hot.”
NOTES: Magic C Nikola Vucevic has 10 double-doubles, including five in a row, to give him 206 in his career. ... The Pacers will take a four-game road winning streak into their Wednesday game at Houston. The last time Indiana won four consecutive road games was Nov. 18-Dec. 2, 2015. ... Indiana had won six straight meetings over Orlando. ... After starting the season 3 of 15 from 3-point range in the first five games, Pacers F Bojan Bogdanovic has made 44 of 88 3-point attempts. ... G Shelvin Mack, who played for Butler University in Indianapolis, did not see action for the Magic.