Ryan's Place

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Magic Lose to Pacers 78-90

From Brian Schmitz at the Orlando Sentinel:

It was a hoops homecoming for Brian Hill.

The problem was, the NBA schedule-maker didn't provide a homecoming opponent for Hill and the Orlando Magic Wednesday.

This was a night that begged for a matchup with the Atlanta Hawks, but the Magic drew the Indiana Pacers instead and lost 90-78 at TD Waterhouse Centre.

Picked by some to reach the NBA Finals, the Pacers turned serious in the second half -- the way contenders do -- and fed off Magic miscues.

The game went pretty much as expected when one team is built for a title run and the other still requires some assembly.

The short-handed Magic also were playing without Grant Hill's offense and Keyon Dooling's defense but had hoped to ride an emotional wave of a new season and coach.

Providing encouragement was a sell-out crowd of 17,283 fans -- the first opening-night full house for the Magic since 1998.

With Dooling out with a foot injury and Hill recovering from hernia surgery at home, the Magic hung around until the Pacers broke away for good in the third quarter.

Indiana turned a one-point lead into an 11-point cushion at 68-57 in a crucial three-minute stretch. The Magic never got closer than six points after the Pacers' 10-0 run.


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