Pacers rout Magic 123-102 behind Mathurin
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bennedict Mathurin scored 22 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 123-102 rout of the Orlando Magic on Monday night.
Tyrese Haliburton had a double-double with 18 points and 14 assists as Indiana won its fifth consecutive game.
T.J. McConnell, who had missed his four 3-point attempts in his first 14 games was 3-for-3 from behind the arc en route to 19 points. He also had 10 assists.
“I work on it so much,” he said of his 3-point shooting. “I pass up quite a few because I think we can make a better shot. I thank my teammates for continuing to pass me the ball.”
Haliburton said he always tells McConnnell “if it feels right, shoot it, if not pass it up.”
Oshae Brissett had 18 points as the Pacers bench accounted for 71 points.
Franz Wagner led Orlando with 20 points. Gary Harris, a 2012 Indiana Mr. Basketball from Hamilton Southeastern High School in nearby Fishers, scored 18 points for the Magic.
The Pacers shot 50% from the field while the Magic hit 42.4%.
McConnnell said the Pacers are developing a solid bond during its strong start.
“We got good people who are great teammates and want the next guy to succeed,” McConnell said. “We make the extra pass and cover for each other on defense. We got a young guys who get out and run. I think we take people by surprise when they realize how good we are.”
Indiana led 54-45 at the half and increased the lead to 86-67 after three.
The game was a contrast to Saturday night’s game where the Pacers had slipped past the Magic 114-113 in the first of back-to-back home games.
“Their rebounding gave us trouble with second chance opportunities as points in the paint,” Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley said.
The Pacers held a 48-38 rebounding edge and held a 58-42 edge in points in the paint.
Already without injured players Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr., Chuma Okeke played just 12 minutes, leaving the game with left knee soreness. Mosley said it’s the same soreness Okeke has been dealing with recently.
“Our guys have to continue to compete and communicate,” Mosley said of the shifting lineups.
Magic: Wendell Carter Jr., the Magic’s leading rebounder, missed his second consecutive game with right plantar fascia strain. … Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft from Duke, missed his seventh consecutive game with a left ankle sprain. Banchero, who was averaging 23.5 points, suffered the injury Nov. 7.
Pacers: Andrew Nembhard was sidelined with a bruised left knee. … Tyrese Haliburton was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week. He averaged 21 points and 11 assists to help Indiana to three wins.
Haliburton made sure he used the postgame to express birthday wishes for his mother, whose birthday is Tuesday. Haliburton had 7 of 12 shots in the victory.
“It felt everything,” he said. “Last year on her birthday, I had a donut. I wore the same shoes I did last year. I just thought I’m going to do better this time. I would have had 20 assists if Buddy (Hield) made some shots. It was exciting and my mom sits courtside for a lot of the games, so it was amazing to do that.”
Hield had an off-night, hitting 3 of 13 shots en route to nine points.
Pacers: Host Minnesota on Wednesday night.
Magic: Returns home to face Philadelphia in back-to-back games on Friday night and Sunday night.
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